Discovering Wine At The Royal Horseguards Hotel London

I was so lucky to be invited along to the Royal Horseguards hotel in London to discover and taste wine. Now I've been known to enjoy a cider or gin but my one true love is a glass (uh hum a bottle) of wine. There's just something civilized and relaxing about cracking that bottle open and pouring into a large wine glass.

The hotel it's self has so much history and character. We were given a tour of the building and the restaurant One Twenty One Two that was named after  Scotland Yards universally-famous telephone number, Whitehall 1212.. The marble staircase is one of the largest staircases in the UK and parts of it were actually destroyed during WW2 when a bomb was dropped straight through the ceiling. The hotel also houses the National Liberal Club. Only members are allowed behind this door (the doors are completely covered so no peeping.) Gladstone and Churchill are two of it's most famous members. The secret service MI6 was also founded on the 8th floor, and the hotel recently was awarded a blue plaque that sits proudly outside. Sir Mansfield Cumming, the founder, wrote in green ink and we were gifted at the end of the evening a green ink pen.

The wine tasting was held in the basement which still had some original features such as the electricity box and a contraption which meant the barrels of wine could be pushed down in to the cela easily.

Our sommelier for the evening was kelly from TASTOUR. She was absolutely amazing an definitely knew her wines. Her humour shone through and she really made the evening so much fun with her cheeky innuendos.

We drank several wines over the evening. We started with Taittinger Brut Réserve Champagne. Over the course of the evening we were taught how to distinguish the flavours and even the cost of what style of wine we were drinking.

Kelly also showed us how to open a bottle of champagne. Now I know how tempting it can be to pop that cork and spray but no; one why would you want to waste the champers? and two why would you want to waste champers? The trick seems to be all about the twist of the cork. Twist from the bottom of the bottle and once the cork comes out, gently tap the top to stop the bubbles and explosion.

Next we went on to white and red wines. The white Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc was my absolute favourite through out the whole night.

Over the night Kelly just gave us such cool tips, like not to buy anyhing sparkling that doesn’t open with exactly 6 twists of the metal fastener or the cork, and want to know how good your wine is? just give it a good sniff. Every half inch you hold your nose away from a glass of wine and you can still smell it, you pay £5 for the bottle. She also made a point that a good quality wine will make your mouth water, which tricks your mind into thinking it's drinking a lot more than it is. Where as cheap wine will dry your mouth making you need to drink more to wet your palette.

Another good tip was that if you can buy the wine by the glass, you should be able to ask for a taster first to make sure you like it. Apparently most bars will be accommodating to this request and I for one agree. If I'm spending money I want to enjoy what I'm drinking.

All in all, with the good company, wine and food I had an absolutely amazing evening. I learnt handy tips and also found I have an extremely strong taste for expensive wine (I'm sure my boyfriend will hate this.)

Thank you to The Royal Horseguards Hotel and The Jo Bloggers team for a fantastic evening.

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