May 2017

Taylor’s takes to the high seas for 325th Anniversary

Celebrating the 325th Anniversary of their founding, esteemed Port producer Taylor’s took to the high seas in style this May. Recreating the first Port shipment from Oporto to London, a special cask of limited-edition anniversary Port was loaded onto the fully restored Taylor 325 Yacht before setting sail for London. Tower Bridge was raised to mark the occasion and having passed through, the yacht moored at Tower Pier to be greeted by members of the Taylor’s Port family. Adding a little pomp and circumstance to the proceedings were members of the Company of Pikemen and Musketeers in full regalia. A ceremonial procession saw the cask of limited-edition Port from the bow of the yacht carried into the Tower of London where guests and friends of Taylor’s gathered to celebrate the anniversary with a black tie dinner. Served during the evening were traditional Portuguese aperitifs of Taylor’s Chip Dry White Port and Tonic, a fine Imperial of Taylor’s 1977 vintage and special ‘squat onion’ bottles of Taylor’s 325th Anniversary limited-edition Port.Not to rest on their laurels, the ever adventurous brand have sponsored Portuguese single-handed yachtsman Ricardo Diniz, who sailed with a crew from Porto to London, to take part in the OSTAR 2017 transatlantic race from Plymouth to Newport, Rhode Island, where further celebrations will take place upon the arrival of the Taylor 325 yacht. Ricardo is the first Portuguese entrant into this gruelling race, and Adrian Bridge, Managing Director of Taylor’s adds; “this partnership resulted quite naturally as it unites land and sea, history and future, and is built on the shared values of determination, courage and resilience; all essential attributes for both single-handed navigation, and producing and selling Port! It is with great pride that Taylor’s supports the first Portuguese yachtsman to take part in OSTAR, in the year of our 325th anniversary.”

April 2017

Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction 2017 Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the funniest fiction prize of the year, the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize, was announced on Wednesday 12 April. Six titles are in contention for the top spot.

Helen Fielding, previously shortlisted in 2014 with Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, is joined by Carl Hiaasen, James Robertson, Richard Russo, Nina Stibbe and Simon Wroe.

The 2017 shortlist was chosen, with the aid of a glass or two of Bollinger La Grande Année, at the world famous family run house of Champagne Bollinger in Ay, France, by the panel of judges:

Broadcaster and author James Naughtie; Everyman’s Library publisher David Campbell, and a Vice President of the Hay Festival and Director of National Trust Wales, Justin Albert.

Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse

The six shortlisted novels are:

  • Bridget Jones’s Baby: The Diaries by Helen Fielding (Jonathan Cape, Vintage)
  • Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen (Sphere, Little, Brown Book Group)
  • To Be Continued… by James Robertson (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)
  • Everybody’s Fool by Richard Russo (Allen & Unwin, Atlantic Books)
  • Paradise Lodge by Nina Stibbe (Viking, Penguin Random House)
  • Here Comes Trouble by Simon Wroe (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Orion Books)

As is customary, this year’s winner will be announced just ahead of the Hay Festival. The winner will receive a jeroboam of Bollinger Special Cuvée, a case of Bollinger La Grande Année and the complete set of the Everyman Wodehouse collection. The winner will also be presented with a locally-bred Gloucestershire Old Spot pig, which will be named after the winning novel in a special celebration involving further champagne.

March 2017

Secrets of the Cardinal Vaughan Car Park

Neighbouring the north stands at Twickenham the Cardinal Vaughan Car Park has seen the warm-up for countless rugby fixtures, most recently the RBS 6 Nations. On the 11th of March the guests of Champagne Bollinger basked in glorious sunshine awaiting England vs Scotland & the Calcutta Cup. The Cardinal Vaughan Car Park is unequalled in terms of pre-game socialising & networking, offering the chance for the great & good from many walks of life to entertain & be entertained. Tales of previous fixtures were traded and predictions swapped as fans from both sides congregated around picnic tables laden with food & drink.

Bollinger Hospitality

Bollinger Special Cuvée as the apéritif was followed by a roasted celeriac soup with hazelnut pesto, accompanied by M.Chapoutier Chante-Alouette. Beef bourguignon, creamy mash & autumn vegetables & Roda Reserva followed & finally a selection of French cheeses, apricot tart & brownies paired with Taylor’s 20 Year Old Tawny Port.

England took home the Calcutta Cup along with the 6 Nations Championship and fans from both sides came together to celebrate & commiserate the result in the Bollinger Tent in the West Fan Village.

Bollinger Tent at Twickenham

The 6 Nations has drawn to a close with England winning the trophy but unable to win the Grand Slam. This did not prove to be the case for the England Women’s team, who were guided by Captain Emily Scarratt and the Men’s under-20’s team who also managed the Slam. It is clear that this has been an outstanding chapter for English Rugby, with fantastic results in all areas, offering plenty of hope for the future of the game.

February 2017

British Port Association Appoints First Woman Treasurer

Natasha Bridge becomes the first woman Treasurer of the British Association, Oporto.

Natasha Bridge

The association of British Port shippers has elected Natasha Bridge as its first woman Treasurer. The British Association, as it is known, is made up of seven historic British Port companies including three firms belonging to the Fladgate Partnership, Taylor’s, Fonseca and Croft, of which Natasha is a Director.

The Association’s imposing headquarters is the Factory House, an elegant neo-Palladian building commissioned by the British Port houses and completed in 1790.  Located in the old riverside commercial quarter of Oporto, the Factory House and its valuable contents embody the heritage and traditions of the British shippers and their prominent role in the Port trade since the late 17th century.

For over two centuries, management of the Factory House remained – by tradition rather than regulation – the preserve of senior male members of the British Port firms.  In 2010, Natasha became the first woman to be elected to membership of the Association and to become eligible to serve as Treasurer.  The Treasurer is appointed for one year and, as well as presiding over the Association, is responsible for the upkeep of the Factory House and for a busy programme of activities of which a high point is the Treasurer’s Dinner held in November.

Natasha’s Treasurership coincides with two important anniversaries: the 50th year of the distinguished Port trade career of her father, Alistair Robertson, chairman of The Fladgate Partnership; and the 325th Anniversary of Taylor’s which has remained an independent family run business since its foundation in 1692.”