Wine & Food

    Queen Elizabeth II (Getty)

    How to dine like the Queen

    3 August 2020

    Just a hundred or so food and drink companies across the world can boast of being long-term suppliers to the Royal Household. The list of firms holding this badge of honour, known as the Royal Warrant, range from household cupboard stalwarts, including the Heinz company and Weetabix, to the finest fishmongers and whisky merchants in the country.

    Why not dine in true regal style, with our three course menu sourced only from Royal Warrant suppliers.

    Starter: smoked trout with egg salad and horseradish cream

    Royally approved: Inverawe smokehouse, Scotland

    Based on the west coast of Scotland, Inverawe’s smokehouse has been a proud supplier of the Queen’s table for almost two decades. It sources the plumpest fish from the nearby waters, infusing them with the scent of hot oak from the local forest.

    The firm’s speciality is its smoked trout. Take a thick slab and slice it up into delicate wafers, ready to be rolled up. Leave this in the fridge while you boil up two organic eggs from Heritage Breeds, part of Noble Foods.

    Once the yolks are hard, chop up the eggs with some mustard cress, dill and a squeeze of lemon juice. Then add a drizzle of olive oil and a dollop of French mayonnaise – both from Partridges deli. Season, mix well and set aside in a bowl in the fridge.

    Now beat up around 150ml of heavy cream from the Jersey cows at Ivy House Farm, Somerset, adding in around two tablespoons of freshly grated horseradish. Salt to taste.

    Take out some plates and sprinkle a handful of mustard cress in the corner of each one. Roll up the trout slices and place on top. Next scoop up some egg salad and place a small dome in the opposite corner from the fish. If you have some small pouring jugs, serve the horseradish cream alongside in those. Otherwise drizzle round the side of each plate.

    Serve with the sparkling rosé brut from Camel Valley, an award-winning vineyard in Cornwall. The snorting nip of horseradish cuts through the rich, buttery taste of the fish perfectly – while the jump between the two is softened by the dash of cream and velvety egg salad.

    The salmon pink wine is simultaneously dry yet refreshing, complementing the creamy fish in colour but contrasting in texture. If you prefer a more traditional “oak and smoke” combination, go for the 2018 La Combe Verte, Chardonnay Walter Scott from Justerini & Brooks, another favourite royal wine merchant.

    Try sourcing the vegetables from Natoora, which only works with sustainable, seasonal produce. Otherwise Waitrose is another excellent Royal Warrant-holding grocer for organic veg.

    Main: ham and sweetcorn chowder

    This is an ideal way to use leftover ham after a roast. Alternatively you can buy a precooked cured ham – just make sure the quality is good and joint full of flavour. Either way you can’t go wrong with Dukeshill. The company has been supplying the Queen with finest Wiltshire ham for the past 20 years, with its owner delivering the goods personally.

    Charcuterie selection from Duke’s Hill

    Dice up around 500g of ham, parboil then chop two large potatoes and set both aside. Next fry two onions, finely sliced, in a good lump of butter with the meat and potatoes plus one tablespoon of mixed herbs, two bay levees and a chopped leek.

    Again, you can use either Natoora or Waitrose for the vegetables. Dukeshill has an enormous array of herbs and spices to choose from.

    Then pour in around one litre of Ivy House Farm’s semi-skimmed milk. Continue cooking until the sauce thickens up, ensuring the mix doesn’t overboil.

    Add in 400g of canned sweetcorn and 250g of a soft garlic and herb cheese. You have a number of options of cheesemongers holding a Royal Warrant. We recommend trying Paxton & Whitfield, experts in this field since 1797. If you’re based in Scotland, the George Strachan deli and Edinburgh’s famous Valvona & Crolla food store are great options.

    Cook the chowder about five minutes longer, season and serve. To sip alongside it: the 2015 Riesling, Junge Reben, Trocken August Kesseler, also from Justerini & Brooks. Salty with a zip of sweet peach, it hits the same spots as the salty cured ham and sugary corn.

    Dessert: cheese board

    The list of Royal Warrant holders is stuffed with Aladdin’s cave delis, so it seems a shame not to finish off by allowing them to showcase the best of their delights.

    We recommend putting together a platter comprising three artisan British cheeses: a zesty Aldwych Goat, the earthy Waterloo and a classic cave aged Cheddar from the mind-boggling selection at Paxton & Whitfield.

    Royal cheese: Paxton & Whitfield

    Make sure to pick up some of their crackers too and peruse the array of chutneys and pickles on offer from both Paxton and Dukeshill.

    Pair with a bottle of the 2014 sparkling demi-sec from Camel Valley for sweet, fruity bubbles that burst through the richness of the cheeses. If you’re feeling rather more decadent, who could say no to the age old combination of port and cheese?

    The Symington family has been producing port wines in the Douro Valley of Portugal for five generations, picking up a Royal Warrant along the way.

    Its Graham’s 90 tawny port was made to commemorate the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth and is a blend of the 1935, 1924 and 1912 vintages – averaging out to 90 years in age.

    Finish off with a black coffee using a single origin roast from HR Higgins and a truffle or two from Charbonnel et Walker. This royal chocolatier has been established in Britain since 1875, when the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, convinced Mme Charbonnel to abandon her Paris shop and move to Bond Street.