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The week in pictures

The star of dance troupe Diversity, Ashley Banjo, put an unusual spin on the Beatles’ iconic Abbey Road album cover this week, recreating the image with the help of three curiously wooden back-up dancers. The stunt was in support of Helping Britain Blossom, launched on National Apple Day in partnership with Heineken, which will see local people helped to restore 100 community orchards throughout the UK by 2017.

Dance star Banjo shows off his tree-wrangling skills in Westminster.

The UK wine trade squeezed into 28-50 restaurant in London to celebrate the launch of Wine & Food, the maiden book by Saturday Kitchen star Jane Parkinson (pictured). A “chatty and informative” guide to the world of wine, the book features serving and storage advice, an overview of what to expect from key wine styles, and a mouth watering exploration of food and wine matching.

This week also saw the preview of UK’s first Tequila & Mezcal Fest dedicated to agave spirits. Taking place at the Grange Tower Bridge hotel in London on 22-23 November, the event will include cocktail masterclasses, food pairing sessions and tutorials on how to spot a blanco from an añejo, with a Mariachi band thrown in for good measure – olé!

Those travelling through Edinburgh International Airport currently will have the rare chance to sample three of Balblair’s finest Vintages; Balblair Vintage 1999 first release, Balblair Vintage 2004 matured in bourbon barrels and Balblair Vintage 2004 matured in sherry butts. All Vintages will be available to purchase on its travel retail stand, including the Balblair Vintage 2004 matured in sherry butts, previously only available in Asia.

Team db took the opportunity to sample Jameson’s new cocktail programme this week. The Irish whiskey giant has teamed up with Mark Hix to produce a range of barrel aged cocktails featuring Jameson’s whiskey, developed with London bartender, Myles Davies. Central to their collaboration was a 200-litre, Jameson-seasoned barrel that was dismantled and then painstakingly re-assembled by 5th generation Master Cooper, Ger Buckley, into a 15-litre barrel for barrel ageing Myles’ cocktail creations.

One such creation, Autumn Leaves, comprises Jameson Irish Whiskey, sweet vermouth and an apple aperitif from Somerset aged for several weeks. The maturation process is said to impart an “extra vanilla and wood flavours and creates a more rounded flavour profile”.

HRM The King Juan Carlos officially inaugurated the Castillo Ygay Marqués de Murrieta wineries earlier this week after more than eight years of restoration, marking the start of a new era. HRM Carlos unveiled the commemorative plaque after a tour of the winery by Vicente Dalmau Cebrián-Sagarriga, Marqués de Murrieta’s President. To mark the occasion, guests were treated to a toast of Castillo Ygay 1938, the King’s birth year.

Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall, paid a visit to English wine producer Chapel Down to celebrate the winery’s success in the 2014 UK Vineyards Association (UKVA) English and Welsh Wine of the Year Awards. The Duchess, who is president of the UKVA and an ardent supporter of home-grown produce, was taken on a tour of the facilities and even participated in hand-picking grapes.

Following the tour The Duchess started the production line of an exclusive wine produced in honour of the visit, Chapel Down Cuvée Camilla. Just 80 bottles of Cuvée Camilla have been produced for guests who attended the The Duchess’ visit, while a unique 15-litre Nebuchadnezzar of the Cuvée will be donated to charity for auction.

Adnams set sail on the streets of London taking its “Ghost Ship” on tour. Using a pedibike, and equipped with a pirate, the team pedalled their way around London visiting some of its favourite haunts and refreshing passersby with samples and goodies. Adnams was recently awarded the a Gold Outstanding Medal at the 2014 International Wine and Spirits Competition for its Longshore Vodka – the first time the trophy has been won by a producer outside of Russia, Poland, France and Scandinavia.

Indian restaurant Carom in Soho celebrated the Hindu light festival Diwali with a new cocktail menu created by head bartender Massimo Bosio. New sips include the Bombay Treacle Club, a blend of Amrut Indian whiskey, coriander, ginger, and apple; and the Chutney Cooler, which mixes Boudier Saffron gin with homemade chutney, passion fruit puree, lemon juice and ginger ale.  

db was lucky enough to visit a large strip of the Med this week, with the voyage beginning on the French Riviera and our first port of call the idyllic village of Villefrance.

During our stop in Nice, we chanced upon this characterful grape seller

Our final port of call was Naples, where we dined at the one Michelin-starred Il Comandante restaurant. Enjoying an array of Italian wines, from Franciacorta to Greco de Tufo, the meal ended with an elaborate performance from our “tea sommelier”, who gave us the chance to create our own bespoke blend.

To pair with our mint, fennel and aniseed tea, we were given a pretty as a picture petit four wrapped in edible silver

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