I spent a fascinating evening with old friends and new at my favourite meeting place...The Yard in Alderley Edge.
Totally unlike anything you would expect in glitzy Alderley, and set back from the main road or "the boulevard of broken dreams" as it is known, this deli has a fabulous, well, space for holding all sorts of very interesting events.
This was the first meeting of Meat Club Manchester and the owners Stewart and Jean Pickering invited me along to taste some wines with the guests as they got stuck into learning just what a side of beef looks like and where our better known favourite cuts of beef come from.
Simon the Butcher gave us a fascinating insight of how to separate bone from muscle, and forage for the cuts that we usually see sitting on the butchers slab.
After a 45 minute talk I could see the other guests couldn’t wait to grill their own steak and tuck in to Deanna’s beautiful devilled kidneys!
All that remained to complete a perfect evening was a glass or three of red.
We started with a very reasonably priced Rioja that seemed to compliment the texture of the barbecued sirloin.
I really wanted them to try a traditional French Claret and the Château Lamothe de Haux did not disappoint.
Just to be a little left field I poured a glass of one of my faves the Rippasso from Zonin…wow what a mouthful of richness and a great way to enjoy well-butchered and beautifully cooked meat and a gorgeous simple salad, and freshly-baked artisan bread.
This is what it's all about: simplicity...good food, good wine and good conversation.
We talked and supped long after my normal bedtime (the EPO likes me back in barracks by midnight).
The "boulevard of broken dreams" felt cold and bleak, but The Yard always promises warmth, friendship, and good vittles.
I can’t wait til the next time!
Well done to all concerned.