Summer finally arrives in London, and on one of the hottest days in October we headed to Tuttons in Covent Garden for a taste of Paul Tutton’s own Waipara West alongside a long Sunday lunch. Why did we choose Tuttons on this particular Sunday? Because the All Blacks were playing Canada in the Rugby World Cup, and every time they win the first 50 customers who mention this get a free glass – not bad!
When we arrived we needed something to cool off, so we started with the Waipara West Unoaked Chardonnay 2008 (6.95 per glass) and it was a delight. Light, slightly spicy with hints of citrus and green apple it was just what we needed on a hot day and it went very well with our starters, Potted Crab and the House Salad (which was an English take on the Ceasar). It also had a lovely refreshing finish, and both starters were good.
Time passed and we moved onto the main event, I had to try the ‘Colonial Goose’, which was a special dish of slowcooked lamb breast wrapped around a stuffing of apricots and sausagemeat and herbs on a bed of Kale and surrounded by gravy – quite a mouthful (the good kind!)! The food was inspired by a traditional dish popular with early English pioneers in New Zealand. The stuffing and gravy were divine. My lovely companion had the Sea Bass with Heritage Tomatoes – also good. We were both quite exited about the green and ‘tiger’ tomatoes that accompanied the fish. It was the first time I ate a green tomato.
We changed up the wine, and had the Waipara West 2009 Pinot Noir – this was the star of the show. Despite the hot weather it matched both the Colonial Goose and Sea Bass nicely being relatively light bodied, fruit forward and simply delicious. It had spiced plum characters and maintained a slightly acidic, refreshing finish. There were very little vegetal elements, however even though it was quite fruity on the nose my companion did note a slight whiff of leather – not a bad thing!
Tuttons itself was pretty good. Yep, it is smack bang in the middle of Covent Garden (tourist central) but it did deliver a pretty decent lunch, and the service was spot on and you get what you pay for. Would I go there with the ladies for after work drinks? Probably not, but it would do nicely for a lunch or dinner when visiting kiwis come to town. The building itself has been around since the 1700s when it was first known as the Hummus Baths and Hotel, and looks out onto the Piazza. Since then it’s had several reincarnations, survived a fire and even once served as a warehouse for potatoes. When Paul Tutton bought the property in 1974 the name changed to Tuttons and while he no longer owns it, it has kept the name.
Anyways, let’s hope the All Blacks win a few more matches…
For more information about Tuttons (and the Rugby World Cup Promo) visit www.tuttons.com
Fore more information about Waipara West visit www.waiparawest.com
Special thanks to Lauren Ipsum