It was my birthday this weekend and also the start of a week long jazz festival, two of my favourite activities. It seemed like a good reason to celebrate and Chasters at Bonniebrook Lodge was offering a fabulous combination of dining and music.
We were seated on the patio when we arrived and were able to enjoy the warmth of the late afternoon sun while watching a parade of cruise ships in the distance. With a glass of cold bubbly in hand we were treated to an assortment of delectable canapes - creamy Stilton on a paper thin wafer, salmon mousse, mussels in a savoury curry and duck over a sweet onion confit.
As if choreographed, the setting sun crept behind the tall trees and it was time to move inside for the rest of our set menu dinner. The menu included a wine tasting flight and we started with a buttery Chardonnay to accompany our creamy celeriac potato soup. Our glasses were then refilled with a sweeter Pinot Gris, the perfect compliment to our salad course, freshly picked local organic greens with toasted maple pecans, feta and a honey hazelnut dressing.
We both chose the catch of the day for our entree, a perfectly cooked white fish over a soft pillow of potato mash, generously topped with a tomato and olive oil caper dressing. This was served with a crisp, dry Chablis to moderate the rich olive oil.
While enjoying this wonderful food experience, we were also treated to the wonderful voice of jazz vocalist, Pat Collier and like each of the fine wines, her sweet, sultry voice was a perfect compliment to the evening. With just a simple keyboard to accompany her, she paid tribute to to the legendary ladies of those great jazz standards, singing straight from her heart.
Dessert was a fine finale to this evening of sensory experiences, a rich chocolate mousse offset with a tart berry sorbet served in a crunchy maple cup, and this accompanied with a creamy, espresso liqueur.
Chasters at Bonniebrook Lodge has truly created the art of dining and I would strongly recommend that you check them out for your next celebration.
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