12 August 2007

the ultimate sandwich

I usually make a sandwich for lunch, which I take to work from Monday to Friday. That is, unless there is some leftover from the previous night's dinner that could be reheated, like curry or noodles.

A country hotel in the UK has come up with the ultimate, and the world's most expensive, sandwich. A little bit indulgent, but if you can afford it (I can't), why not?

From their website
Cliveden Offers World’s Most Expensive Sandwich

At £100, the newly launched ‘von Essen Platinum Club Sandwich’ is the world’s most expensive sandwich, but with an exquisite combination of some of the very finest ingredients, it is surely worth every penny.

The mouth-watering sandwich has just been launched at Cliveden in Berkshire, the famous country house hotel that’s part of the exclusive von Essen private collection. Boasting an impressive culinary heritage, Cliveden’s Executive Head Chef, Daniel Galmiche presides over the Michelin-starred Waldo’s Restaurant at the hotel. Made from Iberico ham, poulet de Bresse, white truffles, quail eggs, semi-dried Italian tomatoes and 24-hour fermented sour dough bread, the von Essen Platinum Club weighs 530 grams and is the perfect lunchtime treat for gastronomes.

"We are pleased to announce our achievements have been commemorated by The Guinness Book of World Records for producing the 'world's most expensive sandwich'. Guests can see The Certificate in the Porch Corchere at Cliveden!"

A favourite of English King Edward VII and his wife Wallis Simpson, the club sandwich has been enduringly popular since the late nineteenth century when it was believed to be invented. Fit for royalty, von Essen’s version is a contemporary interpretation of the classic firmly bringing into line with modern culinary tastes.

"The Platinum Club sandwich is made from the very finest ingredients and the taste is simply sublime"

Air-cured for 30 months, the Iberico ham comes from the prized black-footed pig (Pata Negra), while the poulet de Bresse is described by the French as the ‘fourth gastronomic wonder of the world’. The notoriety of the chicken of Bourg-en-Bresse dates back to the sixteenth century when Henry IV of France demanded its inclusion on the courtly menu. At £2,500 per kilogramme, white truffles are some of the world’s most expensive delicacies and a generous 10 grams are included in the ingredients of the sandwich. Regarded by many as a natural aphrodisiac, the rich taste of the truffles perfectly complements the flavours of the sandwich, which may explain if you are feeling a little amorous after your lunchtime snack.

"von Essen Platinum Club sandwich weighs 530 grams and is the perfect lunchtime treat for gastronomes"

Masterminded by the von Essen collection’s Executive Head Chef, James Parkinson, his inspiration came from the experience of staying at hotels all over the world. James comments, ‘Found on the menu of virtually every hotel in the world, the club sandwich is one of the hospitality industry’s staples. Until now, I’m yet to experience a version that’s worthy of the many five-star hotels I’ve visited. The Platinum Club sandwich is made from the very finest ingredients and the taste is simply sublime. It’s a sandwich that lives-up to the sumptuous setting of Cliveden and its magnificent culinary pedigree’

(click on picture for detail)

I wonder if you could go with ten people and share it.

21 hours in Melbourne, just for the football. I must be mad.

Yesterday morning, I flew to Melbourne. I managed to have time to check into a budget motel in the city before meeting up with Tim and Paul for a drink at the pub nearby. Then I left them and made my own way to the MCG and met with Jim (who I first met at work on Wednesday - he met with the departmental secretary/CEO) who had invited me to the football.

It was a difficult game to watch. At the end of the game, I went down to the dressing rooms after much difficulty (visits are by invitation only), and had a chat with Begs (one of our players - I had some things to give him). Then I found Tim and Paul upstairs in a bar and had a beer.

That evening, we went to a reunion dinner of many of the past players of the club (and of the former clubs which merged to form our club). It was a good night, though too many people (1400) for my liking. I caught up with a few players I know and other friends. 5 hours, a three course dinner and free flowing alcohol. I only had three or four beers.

I got to the hotel at 12.30am. It was a dive - basic with shared bathrooms. It was also very noisy as my room (not sound-proofed) faced the street. In any case, I woke up around 5am and left at 5.30am and arrived at the airport by 6.30am for the 8.25am flight. 21 hours in Melbourne, I must be mad.

Thankfully, I was able to have a nap or two this afternoon.