January Newsletter

JANUARY MEETING

An interesting and varied selection of favourite Christmas tipples were sampled at the January meeting.

Bob set the ball rolling with a Martini Asti Spumanti, which was a pleasant sweet white aperitif. Cathy brought along a Definition (Majestic Wines) Albariño at £9.99 and talked about the wine coming from Galicia, the wet and windswept region of northwest Spain, which offers perfect conditions for producing fresh and zesty white wines. We then sampled a lovely white Rioja that Chris had found for £6.99 at Aldi, a Baron Amarillo. Chris explained the differences between the young and aged white Riojas and the many white grape varieties that can be combined with the minimum 51% Viura grapes to produce this wine. Next, we sampled a Fairtrade Bonarda, an Argentinian Malbec, blended with the lesser known Bonarda grape, which Les Bates enjoyed at Christmas. It was a very pleasant full bodied, rustic style wine at £5.25 from the Coop. The evening was concluded with a tot of Geoff’s favourite Mexican rum, El Ron Prohibido, and tales of Mexican rum-runners. This was a delicious rich and smooth rum.

Many thanks to Bob, Chris, Les Bates and Geoff for talking about their favourite wines and spirits, which contributed to making this an enjoyable evening.

Thank you, Les for organising the quiz and to members for raffle donations.

NEXT MONTH'S MEETING (3 FEBRUARY)

Unusual Wines

Following the EGM Geoff will give a talk with tastings on wines from lesser known grapes.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

The Station Bridge Hotel was situated on the junction of Quarry Hill Road and Waterloo Road opposite the railway station. The first record of the Station Bridge Hotel appears in the 1874 edition of Kelly’s Directory, listing Edward Ware as the landlord. In 1920 the Kent and Sussex Courier reported that Frank Trotter, son of the late Ernest Trotter of the Station Bridge Hotel, married the daughter of Arthur Vinten, Daisy Vinten, of the Nelson Inn. The final record for the Station Bridge Hotel lists   A E Streek as landlord in 1938.

In 1939 the pub was re-named We Three Loggerheads. A pub of the same name was originally located on the site of the Humphrey Bean (see October 2020 newsletter), but was demolished in 1908 for a road widening scheme. In 1950 an amusing story is reported in the Kent and Sussex Courier of Winifred May Weeks, the landlord’s wife, entering their dining room to find a stranger sitting in an armchair reading a newspaper. When questioned by Mrs Weeks the man, Thomas Miles of Rusthall, replied that he had come for 12 bottles of whisky. Apparently he knocked on the door four times and on receiving no response entered the room with the intention of buying 12 bottles of whisky for his wedding the following Saturday. When later asked by the police whether he had anything to drink he replied “I'll say I have”. Tonbridge Court stated it was difficult to prove whether the accused was guilty, as there was no evidence of a break in or theft. Mr Miles was referred for trial at West Kent Quarter Sessions, Maidstone. Bail was refused.

We Three Loggerheads was demolished in 1969, along with the Good Intent (July 2020 newsletter refers), which occupied the adjoining site. A supermarket, currently Lidl’s, and several small shops were built on the site. The New Loggerheads, built between the original two pubs on Waterloo Road, opened early 1972. This pub, later re-named Flatfoot Sam in the 1980’s, was soon replaced with a furniture shop and is currently a day nursery.

(Acknowledgements: Dover Kent Archives, Tonbridge - Photos, History and Stories, Tonbridge Historical Society)

COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

An interesting twist on a traditional cocktail.

Rum Martini

Shake together 60ml white rum and 15ml dry vermouth in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a green olive.

RECIPE OF THE MONTH

These savoury scones are simple to make and freeze well once cooked, provided you defrost and re-heat them in a hot oven for about 4 minutes before serving.

Cheese, Onion and Olive Scones, The Delia Collection: Baking

Makes about 10

1 tbs olive oil

1 medium onion

6 oz (175g) self-raising flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp mustard powder

½ tsp cayenne pepper

Freshly milled black pepper

1 oz (25g) butter

1½ oz (40g) Parmesan, grated

1½ oz (40g) strong Cheddar, grated

1 large egg

Approx 2-3 tbs milk

6 black olives, pitted and chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 200ᴼC, gas mark 8. Lightly grease a baking tray.

Fry the onion in the oil over a highish heat for about 5-6 minutes until it's a nice brown caramel colour and darkened at the edges. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Sift the flour, salt, mustard powder and cayenne into a large mixing bowl and add a good grinding of black pepper (the scones need to have a piquant bite). Rub in the butter, toss in the cooled onion, the olives and two thirds of the grated cheeses, forking them in evenly.

Beat the egg and pour this in, mixing first with a knife and finally with your hands, adding only enough milk to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, knead gently until smooth, then roll it out to about ¾ inch (2 cm) thick. Cut out the scones using a 2 inch (5 cm) plain cutter and place them on the greased baking tray. Lightly knead together and re-roll any trimmings. Brush the scones with milk, top them with the remaining grated cheese and bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove them to a wire rack to cool.

Serve either warm or cold.

CUTTINGS

The return of Churchill’s favoured Imperial Pint

Daily Telegraph: Winston Churchill was a great advocate of the imperial pint-sized bottle of champagne declaring it as “enough for two at lunch and one at dinner”. Since Brexit there has been a move to scrap the EU ban on pints of sparkling wine. Before the UK joined the Common Market in 1973 60% of all champagne was sold in this country in imperial pint-sized bottles. The pint bottle of champagne was the perfect size for two people sharing, as it offered four glasses, while a standard bottle would be too much. Churchill remarked that “Clemmie thinks that a full bottle is too much for me, but I know that half a bottle is insufficient to tease my brains”, while the compromise of the pint “pleases everyone, even the producer”. The imperial pint (56.8cl) or modern pint (50cl) can be made by the “traditional method” of allowing secondary fermentation to take place in the bottle. However, the EU 37.5cl half bottle is often filled by transferring the sparkling wine from a larger bottle, so losing pressure in the process and offering an inferior bottle of wine.

Many enthusiasts for the pint-sized bottle are hoping that it could become legal again in 2022. In anticipation of its return, the Rathfinny Estate in Sussex have laid down 800 “modern” pint-sized bottles. They hope to release this batch of special Cuvée late next year if the ban is repealed in time.

Snails Boiled in Beer - the perfect cure for Jaundice

Daily Telegraph: A 17th century handbook listing an array of medicinal cures has recently sold at auction for £2,700. It is believed a kitchen worker in a wealthy British household wrote the 170-page leather bound manuscript, entitled “Cordial Waters and Surrups”. Included in the collection is “Snail Water” for curing jaundice, where a pack of snails are tipped into a bowl of beer and boiled over a fire, “shells and all”. 

MUSINGS

Found on the NAWB Facebook page

Roderick Carroll/Tony Harber

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Latest comments

31.03 | 15:44

Hello, We have some demijohns and fermenting buckets, they are free of charge.If anyone would be interested please contact me.
Thank you

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09.11 | 20:18

Thank you for your kind offer of the wine rack. Unfortunately Rainham is rather a long way to travel, as many of us live in Tonbridge.
Best wishes,
Cathy

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09.11 | 19:34

Hello I was a wine maker many years ago and have a 90 bottle wine rack for FREE if anyone can collect from Rainham Kent

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09.09 | 18:31

Looks yummy! You list garlic in the ingredients list, but I don’t see where you add it to the recipe. I would guess that you add it to the partially sautéed oni

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