Arundel's first Restaurant Trail is outstanding success

Another hugely successful Arundel Festival came to a close on Bank Holiday Monday after 10 days of music, fun and culture.

http://www.winewyse.comWith great weather almost throughout, the crowds were out visiting the many artists on the Gallery Trail attending plays on the Theatre Trail, listening to great musicians on the Music Trail and……tasting wines on the Wine Trail.

Apart from a series of tutored tastings, one of the new events for 2016, organised by the increasingly popular Arundel Wine Society, was the Arundel Restaurant Trail. With any new event, it is always a concern as to whether there will be much interest or uptake. However, the organisers need not have worried. The 24 places on the trail sold out rapidly and there were at least twice as many people who were sadly disappointed when all the tickets had been sold.

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The Trail consisted of four dishes in four different establishments in central Arundel, each dish being accompanied by a different glass of wine. Each wine was introduced, described and commented as to why it had been paired with the particular dish.

The trail started in the Arundel Brewery Shop – not strictly a restaurant, but they do run a pop-up restaurant in the Festival. A selection of delicious canapés were served with a glass of English sparkling wine from Blackdown Ridge Estate, a dry wine with good fruit expression, perfect with smoked salmon and parmesan gougères, together with roasted pepper and goats cheese tartlets. Next up was a local dish called Sussex smokie at The Loft of Sparks Yard. Smoked haddock in a sumptuous cream and white wine sauce, topped with parmesan. This was served with a crisp, dry white from the Languedoc called Picpoul de Pinet. Excellent accompaniment to a full flavoured fish dish.

The group then moved on to the restaurant at the Swan Hotel, where diners were treated to a classic dish of Steak-Frites. The tender steak was served medium rare with hand-cut chips and accompanied by a generous glass of full-bodied Malbec, a classic red wine from Argentina. The full bodied red with soft tannins and good depth of fruit flavour matched perfectly the char-grilled steak.

The evening finished at Arundel’s typical Italian Restaurant La Campania, with another classic – the iconic Italian dessert of Tiramisu, which was light, creamy and superb. Paired with a light, medium-sweet sparkling rosé called Brachetto from the Piemonte area in Northern Italy, it was the perfect end to a gourmet – and educational - evening. Look out for this event next year and book early to avoid disappointment.

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