In the renovation game staying in is most definitely the new going out, and as 3yr renovators in chief, Mr M and I rarely venture Out Out. On the rare occasion we do have a foray into the big wide food world, it’s usually to either old favs where we know we won’t be disappointed or one-offs where we absolutely don’t know what to expect. Both ends of the dining spectrum. We’re pretty spoiled in Manchester and I’m impatient for the time when we can host regular events here, but in the meantime adventurous pop-ups can feed us royally, thanks very much 🙂
Dan at Firebird Hope first mentioned Love + Labour to me a couple of months ago (thanks for the intro Dan) and collaborates with them for his feasting events. I discovered that Katie and James were holding a series of weekly wine and cheese evenings at North Tea Power and booked to give them a try.
So, I told Mr M we were going to a wine & cheese evening. Oh, his face. We’re working so physically hard at the moment and he requires SO much food/fuel that the description didn’t really result in the enthusiasm I’d hoped for. I remained positive and promised him a kebab on the way home if he was still hungry. Win win.As you can see, there was indeed wine. Truly stupendous wine. Every food course had been lovingly agonised over and paired with suitable quaffs which were really, really good. Most of them were ‘natural’, i.e. free of those nasty sulphite chemicals which give me a terrible hangover. I’m no wine buff, I’m not going to go into every detail like some specialist blogs but I genuinely recommend that you book on and try one of their evenings as this couple genuinely know their stuff and are crazy passionate about their tipples. The food was more than fabulous and importantly for Mr M, more than enough! Bowls laden with fresh salads and crispy fresh greenery, olives, oils and slabs of freshly baked bread on a help yourself central table. It might seem a bit dull to describe an evening as comfortable but feeling free to just get up and pile some more salad on my plate, or grab another chunk of bread was both refreshing and relaxing.
There was some structure to the evening though, with served courses of meats and cheeses with paired wines alongside the above. A huge wedge of mozzarella to share, drizzled with a fresh green herb sauce was first up. That plastic stuff in balls in water in the supermarket? Doesn’t taste like this did. I’m mozzarella ruined.Next a plate of Trealy Farm air-dried beef, a Welsh beef deeply spiced and similar to bresaola, and Harbourne Blue cheese, a Devonshire goat’s milk with a delicate blue vein :
These two were excellent together and also with the myriad of wonderful relishes freshly made for the evening. I couldn’t get enough of these chutneys, they were amazing!Next up was a pairing of Ogleshield, an unpasteurised cheese made from Jersey cow’s milk with a rind washed in salt water – fancy eh, and Lomo Artesano Curado, a pork loin with sea salt and pimentos :I didn’t like to say I Told You So to him. But I totally did.
No. Kebab. Required.Cold the evening get any better? Well yes, truffles. Truffles sealed the Love + Labour deal. James and Katie’s enthusiasm for what they do, their delightful hosting and infectious smiles turned what could have just been a pleasant evening into a memorable and more personal one. The food was plentiful and delicious, the wine clean and perfectly paired, and the atmosphere relaxed and convivial. We left happy and full, can’t say better than that can you? Their Eventbrite page is here – go check them out x