The Spanish State Visit
Earlier this month the UK rolled out the red carpet for the State visit of King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, the first since 1986. The official arrival ceremony on Horse Guards Parade was followed by a ceremonial procession down The Mall to Buckingham Palace which showed British pageantry at its very best.
The evening saw a spectacular State Banquet at Buckingham Palace. During the banquet, The Queen made a speech in which she emphasised the historical relationship between our two great countries.The State Banquet was attended by King Felipe VI & Queen Letizia of Spain, HRH Queen Elizabeth & the Duke of Edinburgh and the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge as well as Prime Minister Theresa May. Guests were treated to a 3 courses paired menu, including Henriques & Henriques 15 Year Old Bual Madeira served with the dessert, a bitter chocolate tart & raspberries.
A Madeiran institution since its establishment in 1850 Henriques & Henriques is the only Madeira producer to own vineyards, Managing Director & Master Blender Humberto Jardim stated he was very proud to have one of their wines served at the banquet.
The following day the King and Queen of Spain, accompanied by the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence attended a banquet at Guildhall given by the Lord Mayor and City of London Corporation where Bodegas Hidalgo-La Gitana Pedro Ximénez Triana was served.
Final farewells were said on the Friday morning at Buckingham Palace before the conclusion of the visit at RAF Brize Norton.
Madame Bollinger’s Bicycle at Eroica Britannica
On the hottest weekend of the year so far, Champagne sparkle was brought to the Peak District by Madame Lily Bollinger’s recently restored bicycle. Taking to two wheels for Eroica Britannica 2017, ‘The World’s Most Handsome Bike Ride’, Bollinger’s UK Director Victoria Carfantan pedalled the course on the original Peugeot bicycle, believed to date back to the 1940’s, which Madame Bollinger would ride through the vineyards every morning.Victoria took on the 25 mile route which wended through some of the most scenic parts of the Peak District. The blue Peugeot, kindly offered for the race by Madame Bollinger’s great nephew Arnould d’Hautefeuille, performed admirably on its first outing in over 50 years, although modern brakes might have been preferable for some of the steeper descents!
Champagne Bollinger was an official partner of Eroica Britannica 2017 and served Bollinger Special Cuvée from an appropriate Bollinger Bicycle Bar in the Eroica Britannia HQ Garden, quenching the thirst of riders and spectators alike.
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.”
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.
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.