Shortly after Richard and Linda arrived I asked Richard if I should open the wine now. A desperate shout of "Yes" came from the kitchen. The cooking was not on schedule and the chef needed encouragement in the form of alcohol. Claire had forgotten how time consuming and stressful making stuffed pasta shells could be. So I poured the wine and it fizzed in the glasses. Gooseberry & Elderflower, when done well, is a wonderful flavour. It is a pity the batch I made in 2012 (and have yet to open) was quite so awful on bottling.
Anyway, we had a fabulous evening with Richard and Linda. They are flying to Minnesota on Wednesday, which was the unnecessary excuse for a feast. The food was exquisite: mussels in a rich onion sauce, green salad, fresh spelt bread, locally grown asparagus, ravioli stuffed with blue cheese and walnuts in a tomato sauce, and, for pudding, a lavendar and cardemon infused custard. Washed down with lots of wine, of course.