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The week in pictures

The ever-dashing Idris Elba was just one famous face to attend the launch of Rémy Martin’s first ever private members club, La Maison Rémy Martin, in London this week. Open for just two weeks, the likes of Yasmin Le Bon, Naomie Harris and Jack Guinness sipped their way through a selection of bespoke Rémy Martin cocktails accompanied by food from Ottolenghi.

3812 – David Cox with our Guest Speaker and Benevolent Beneficiary Iain Wilson, his partner Victoria – and on the left The Benevolent Welfare Officer Karen.

Drinks charity The Benevolent hosted its first Northern Ball on 21 Novembers, based on the them of James Bond. Guests were treated to a Champagne reception and four-course dinner before dancing the night away to 007 tribute band, Under the Sheets, and trying their luck in the event’s Casino Royale.

The Benevolent CEO David Cox and Chairman Chris Porter don their tuxedos for the occasion.

Young Sommelier of the Year Loic Avril having been presented with an engraved decanter by The Wine Guild of the United Kingdom chairman Michael Hildesley.

Four members of the wine trade were granted honorary membership to the UK Wine Guild last night at its lavish Winter Banquet. Held in the luxurious surroundings of London’s Vintners Hall, sommelier Loic Avril of The Fat Duck in Bray and iconic chef and restaurateur Anton Mosimann OBE were among those honoured for their contribution to the hospitality and wine industry. Tanguy Martin, sommelier at Hotel TerraVina in Southampton, a finalist in this year’s Sommelier of the Year competition, and Aqua Shard bar manager Myles Donneky also received honorary membership.

More than 250 producers and 6,000 visitors attended the sixth World Bulk Wine Exhibition in Amsterdam this week with organisers celebrating a 30% increase in numbers last year. It is the biggest worldwide trade fair devoted to bulk wine with producers from 19 countries showcasing hundreds of wines over two days.

Martyn Legg, assistant manager at The George Staples in Sidcup, Kent.

Managed pub and bar operator TCG celebrated its fourth annual Proud of Our Ale festival across 40 pubs this week. Held over seven weeks, this  year’s festival saw attendees enjoy a “buy six ales, get one free”, a 20% discount for CAMRA members and a “taster pint” comprising three third-pints. Across participating pubs, cask sales increased by an average of 9% on last year.

London landmark The OXO Tower Bar has launched a bespoke cocktail to raise money for the Fairtrade Foundation, as well as offering its diners the chance to win a Fairtrade gold ring worth £16,000. £1 from the sale of each Disa Godesss cocktail – a blend of Warner Edwards gin, vanilla steeped Earl Grey tea, Chase rhubarb liqueur and Champagne – will go toward the Fairtrade Foundation. Imbibers meanwhile will be entered into a prize draw to win the ring.

Absolut Vodka launched its Andy Warhol limited edition bottle onto the travel retail market with a colourful display at key airports worldwide including London Heathrow, Sydney Airport, Dubai Duty Free and Singapore Changi.

A Wiltshire Brewery was celebrating one of its beers being selected to go on tap at the House of Commons’ Strangers’ Bar this week. Tunnel Vision, a 4.2% amber ale from the Box Steam Brewery, was selected by local MP Duncan Hames to be the bar’s guest ale. Master brewer Philip Downes toasted the occasion by travelling to London to enjoy a pint of the ale at House of Commons bar.

These rather snazzy snaps come courtesy of Bulmers Cider who have teamed up with street artist group, Knit the City, to promote its cider as as part of a digital campaign. Bulmers will “yarn-bombing” its apple trees with colourful knitted decorations, giving Twitter users the chance to have their @ handle knitted by a team of yarn-bombers. The decorations will then be knitted together to create multi-coloured ‘tree cosies’.

Duncan Schwab, Susy Atkins, Gita Hamman, Rebecca Mitchell & Pieter Hamman

South Devon’s Glazebrook House Hotel officially christened its new wine and whisky tasting room this week, inviting members of the wine trade to celebrate its opening following the hotel’s launch in September. Owner Pieter Hamman and his daughter Gita were joined by Susy Atkins, wine writer for the Sunday Telegraph, Duncan Schwab, head winemaker at Sharpham Vineyards, and wine consultant Rebecca Mitchell.

Walled City Brewing, the first craft brewery in Northern Ireland’s Londonderry, launched its new pale ale, Boom, to reflect the city’s heritage. The ale, developed by brewer James Huey, takes its name from cannons which are a feature of the city’s historic walls which date back to the 17th century. Walled City Brewery is the first commercial brewery to establish itself in the city for more than a century.

We chanced upon these rather fetching wine bottle outfits on Twitter and think the one on the left would look particularly good on a bottle of Tio Pepe.

db was treated to a horizontal tasting of 1998 Champagne at Moët Hennessey UK’s London office to celebrate the launch of new prestige Champagne merchant, The Finest Bubble, which offers same day delivery. Among the wines on pour were Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Rosé and Krug (pictured here). During the tasting, host Richard Bampfield MW said he believes the best is yet to come from the rosé Champagne category.

Zaika, a little sister to Michelin-starred Indian restaurant Tamarind in Mayfair, reopened its doors in Kensington this week. Flying the flag for northern India’s Awadhi cuisine is head chef Sanjay Gour, with signature dishes including spice crusted scallops; lime leaf crab cakes; Awadhi baked sea bass; and slow braised lamb leg, browned onion and cashew nuts in an almond sauce. Less Indian in signature but no less delicious was the truffle naan bread.

Among the desserts are Old Monk Rum Baba, which comes with a shot of rum, and a cream-filled red velvet cake topped with french fry-shaped strands of chocolate that tasted exactly like a Caramac bar. Cocktails meanwhile, feature Indian twists, with fiery chilies popping up in a couple of the concoctions.

Over in Tuscany, boutique winery Riecine opened a new Cantina with cellars, offices and a new Cellar Door in time to receive the 2014 harvest from its Gaiole estate. With and idyllic hillside setting, the building is formed from part of the original winery and a modern double-storey extension.

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