An afternoon at The Gorgeous Ladies Lunch

14 Aug

Ladies from all over the Wairarapa and Wellington, donning their best frocks and fascinators, came together and became instant friends at The Gorgeous Ladies Lunch.

Everyone seemed to know someone in some way or other! The lady next to me was ex-co founder of Zest Food Tours, the lady across from me plays golf with my mother, the lady next her is my colleague’s sister, and on the table behind me was my best friend’s mother. Friends, family, friends-of-friends and new-found friends all gathered together at Poppies Martinborough.

The afternoon opened with welcoming speeches from the event organisers, Helen Meehan of Olivo Oil; Mary Biggs of Lavender’s Green; and Poppy Hammond of Poppies Martinborough.

Poppy kicked it all off with a quote: “We make the wines we like to drink, we put the food on our platters that we like to eat, and as a customer said when we first opened ‘you’ll only get the people you like’ and I say we’ve had a 100% strike rate”. We were all now part of that 100% no-duds strike rate.

A round of Poppies Pinot Gris matched with rosemary and olive foccacia bread being dipped in paprika and cumin infused Olivo Oil was how we started. And not long after, while enjoying all-you-can-drink Lavender’s Green Lemon, Lime and Bitters cordial (which had a good dash of spice), a banquet was served:

  1. Grilled Moroccan Salmon with chermoula sauce (marinated with Mary’s beetroot and lemon pickle) was simply divine;
  2. Pirinoa lamb and quince tagine on chickpea and fennel salad with cumin oil was never ending with enough for seconds and even thirds;
  3. Olivo’s Orange olive Oil polenta cake with lime curd mascarpone for dessert, though hard to fit in, was too hard to turn down.

I later learnt that Nick Arnold, chef of this fabulous event and his own catering company, Nick Arnold Catering Martinborough, was once head chef for the Prince of Wales. Makes sense as his food was to die for.

I couldn’t commend highly enough the legends of the lunch – Mary, Helen, and Poppy – for bringing all of the ladies together for one incredible Gorgeous Ladies Lunch. And to Nick – I am still thinking about that lamb.

Helen has let on that they are very keen to do this event again. The waiting list for 2014 is already growing.

Bring on 2014!