Annabelle Hood, www.luxuryjournalist.com
With a promised star line-up of famous Scots including ex-Eurythmics singer Annie Lennox OBE, racing legend Sir Jackie Stewart, GMTV presenter Lorraine Kelly, and last year’s winner, renowned artist Jack Vettriano, The Johnnie Walker Blue Label Great Scot Awards 2011 gala was awash with Scottish tartan kilts, haggis, and one of Scotland’s most famous exports: Johnnie Walker whisky.
This recent awards dinner was hosted at the newly launched Boisdale of Canary Wharf restaurant and bar, boasting two floors of space, the biggest Whisky Bar imaginable (12,000 bottles of malt whisky!), a Scottish-themed restaurant, Cigar Room with Cuban Cigar library and a jazz stage poised to host the hottest acts on the London blues, jazz and soul scene.
Johnnie Walker cocktails and Boisdale 1er Cru Champagne were served with nibbles of Scottish seafood and mini haggis on the Boisdale’s sun-kissed terrace, which overlooks the rather enchanting Cabot Place in London’s financial Canary Wharf area, to the east of the capital.
We tucked in to a three-course wine-paired Scottish meal, starting with a featherlight Carpaccio of Loch Duart salmon & Hebridean langoustine, parfait of Dunkeld smoked salmon and wild garlic, washed down with a juicy Simonnet-Febvre Chablis Millessime 2009.
The main course was a rosy Roast Aberdeenshire dry aged beef fillet with a delectably buttery Béarnaise sauce. Waiters poured us a gutsy 2006 Chateau de Ricaud Premieres Cotes de Bordeaux as we listened to the fabulous Annie Lennox’s moving anti-HIV speech, and lamented Jack Vettriano’s absence due to illness (as last year’s Great Scots winner, he can be forgiven). I’d never heard of this year’s Great Scot lifetime award winner – Scottish philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter – but all credit to him for the good work he does. Spread the love!
A hearty tumbler of Johnnie Walker’s premium Blue Label rounded off the meal and fired our bellies as Jackie Stewart took to the stage in a hilariously garish tartan suit. Revelers danced to Reuben Richards and his Soul Train. But it wasn’t long before a select few of us were whisked to one of London’s most exclusive and expensive nightclubs, the aptly named Whisky Mist just off London’s Park Lane. www.boisdale-cw.co.uk
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