Posts Tagged ‘Old Town’

Penbuckle's in Hastings Old Town has a West and an East Sussex white sparkling to try

I was unusually organised and had even sorted out a discount for readers of the Resident Wine Guru column before I found out from the paper that their last edition of the year ran on the 15th!


But who knows, if you quote the article-that-might-have-been to Jackie at Penbuckle’s she might give you the quid off anyway.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

So this is the last column before Christmas, and with festive fun in the air it’s only right and proper that we should talk about bubbles.

I know that given the economic state we’re in, it’s no mean feat getting the Christmas budget to balance; and supermarkets will have deals on that are not to be sniffed at. But I will be doing my best to support our independent traders where I can.

And we can all do that with confidence when choosing our Christmas bubbly, because we have award-winning sparkling wines being produced right here in Sussex.

I was in Penbuckles – the cheese shop on the High Street in Hastings Old Town – at the weekend, and they have some lovely local wines on offer.

There’s a West Sussex and an East Sussex white sparkling to try – the Bolney Bubbly 2009 (a blend of Muller-Thurgau and Chardonnay grapes; small bubbles, lots of green apple), and the Carr Taylor Brut, made just up the road in Westfield, and regularly on show at events such as the Seafood & Wine Festival.

In fact, as a result of a bit of negotiation between the retailer, the vineyard and myself, I am glad to announce that if you take your copy of The Resident into Penbuckles, then a pound discount on the Carr Taylor Brut will be yours – making it an easy rival for any of the lesser-known Champagnes you can buy for £15.95!

All that remains to be said is that I hope you have a Happy Christmas and peaceful 2012, and remember, if you’re stuck for a gift for a loved one who likes a glass or two but who’s tricky to buy for, the newly launched (Hastings-based) Essential Wine School does gift vouchers for their courses. Why not check them out at www.essentialwineschool.com


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Headed down to the Stade in Hastings Old Town yesterday afternoon, to check out how the new Jerwood Gallery buildings are progressing.  See here for more information about the collaboration between the town and the art gallery – it is hoped that the gallery will assist the town’s regeneration, as the new Tate has done in St Ives, and the new Turner Gallery is doing in Margate.

As the YouTube clippet of Ian Jarman shows, Sussex wine merchant Cooden Cellars is pleased as punch to have landed

Cooden Cellars van in the foreground; eat@theStade's new building and the East Hill in the background

the contract to provide the wine at the new eatery to feed all the culture vultures.  Steve and Louise who are in charge there will do a marvellous job – you mark my words.

Ian has provided a Spanish red, white and rosado as the House offerings – plenty of guts and glory apparently.  And there is a smattering of other wine to cater for the range of tastes, and a very palatable Prosecco, so he tells me.

The restaurant is actually a fantastic space for tasting wine more formally.  Glass walls both sides, so lots of light to be able to inspect colour and clarity properly!  I hope that Ian will be showing there some of the 1,000 wines he has in the distribution hub up at The Ridge, St Leonard’s.  [Wonder if he needs any little helpers?!  Ian, if you’re reading – I’m game!]

With the net huts in the background, and the largest, beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe bringing in high quality, sustainably caught fish and seafood every day (quotas allowing – see here for a report from my alter ego), this is without doubt a food and wine destination to watch.

So, get on down and explore for yourselves.  And have a glass from Ian, while you’re there!


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