The Ambrette Restaurant at Rye is to hosting special wine tasting in conjunction with the Cranbrook-based wine and cheese merchants, Perfect Partners on Sunday 8th January.
Chef patron Dev Biswal will be serving a 7-course tasting menu with matched wines chosen by Perfect Partners co-owner David Clarke at £49.99.
Since its opening on 1st December, Biswal has witnessed his Rye-based clientele are ordering wines from the more expensive end of his wine list, than is the case at his original award-winning restaurant in Margate.
"Many of our customers here in Rye bottles of fine wines at around the £40 mark," said Dev. "At Margate they sit the shelves for a few months and I end up drinking them myself."
Having realised the preponderance of wine connoisseurs in the Rye area, Biswal approached David Clarke to help him create a special tasting menu to showcase the fine Indian dining and Perfect Partners' wines.
"The quality of most wines worldwide has improved hugely, but they still demand rigorous selection - some of the traditional wine regions disappoint, but the new areas astound at great value," said Richard Clarke, co owner of Perfect Partners, adding, "Our philosophy is to find quality wines, irrespective of label or country, that represent good examples of their grape variety and provenance at a fair price."
Set on Rye's High Street, the Georgian frontage of the White Vine House belies its medieval heritage. Beneath the dining room lies a C13th cellar, complete with stone spiral staircase. Refurbished in 2005, the once grand home is now one of the country's premier bed and breakfast venues, having secured a 5 star AA rating.
The Ambrette (formerly the Indian Princess) in Margate has received wide national press recognition for Biswal's unique style, that eschews what he calls a "fast food mentality" offered by many high street curry houses stuck in a "1940's time bubble." There are no poppadums, curries or Chicken Tikka Masala on Biswal's menus.
The Georgian Room seats 26, the Elizabethan Room 16, the and the Club Room 14 and the outside terrace a further 20 diners.
Dev Biswal grew up in Calcutta. He trained at the Dubai Sheraton, before moving to London, aged 26 in 2003 for spells at Mangoes and Eriki. He became a partner in The Indian Princess in Margate in December 2006, becoming patron and rebranding it as The Ambrette in 2010
The White Vine House accommodates 14 guests in 5 double rooms (one 4-poster), and a family room (sleeping four). Room rates from £130 to £180 a night including breakfast.
The original building was destroyed during one of the many French raids on the town during the 100 Years War. The Elizabethan Dining Room named for its exquisite and unique French oak panelling, which probably cost more than the original building, with each panel individually formed to fit the timber frame. The room is "signed" with a carpenter's mark visible just above the fireplace
Richard Clarke, studied Mechanical Engineering at Cambridge University, but was enticed into the food and wine trade with Jacksons of Piccadilly in 1972 as buyer of French cheeses, then wines, because of his speak rudimentary French gained from having spent a month working on a farm in Normandy. At Jacksons, Clarke was mentored by their wine consultant Harry Waugh, one of the first Masters of Wine and director of Chateau Latour, one of the great wines of Bordeaux.
In 1975 he moved to a small shipper/wine merchant who supplied the Hilton Hotels, The Ritz and Cunard Group owners of the QE2. The company was amalgamated in 1979 with a specialist in the duty free market supplying alrlines and ships. For the next 10 years Clarke advised Cunard, P&O, Sealink, British Caledonian Airways and many other airlines
In 1988, Richard and his wife Rosemary I bought Perfect Partners, Cheese & Wine Merchants of Cranbrook. Richard Clarke has witnessed a total revolution in the UK wine market. In the 1970s the only serious wines that were generally available here were French and German. Italian restaurants mainly offered a very basic range of indifferent wines. Spain, apart from Rioja and Sherry, provided bulk wines with little character.
Perfect Partners, Stone Street, Cranbrook, Kent TN17 3HF T: 01580 712633