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When you hear you have been invited to a pink-themed afternoon tea in celebration of the Laurent-Perrier Rosé 50th anniversary at Blenheim Palace, what can I say? This is most definitely my kind of invitation! Got my outfit, transportation and booking sorted, so all ready to take off.
Time to visit the splendour of Blenheim Palace in the heart of rural Oxfordshire, but still only an hour away from the hustle and bustle of busy London. I’ve always had a real appreciation for the quietness and the feeling of being able to breathe in the fresh country air, and this will do you good too, every once in a while. While the weather is reaching a “mere” 30 degrees, here I am wearing a skinny pink check suit with the retro paisley sheer shirt that gives me a true sixties-inspired look. And I am standing in front of this extravagant private stately home, which is home to the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. Blenheim Palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting over 300 years of diverse history, with more than 2000 acres of landscaped parkland formal gardens, hosting a wealth of events, tours and exhibitions throughout the year.
Blenheim Palace was built as a gift to John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, from Queen Anne and a grateful nation in thanks for his victory at the Battle of Blenheim on 13th August 1704. Today, the palace is home to one of the most important and extensive collections in Europe, including portraits, furniture, sculptures and tapestries. Amongst the many treasures to be found inside are the famous Marlborough Tapestries (the ‘Victories Series’) in the Green Writing Room and the First, Second and Third State Rooms. Be sure not to miss the magnificent Long Library with its walls lined by more than 10,000 books, many of them hundreds of years old and of great historic significance.
One particular portrait on the wall is especially worthy of mention – it is of an elegant woman standing so perfectly poised with a cascade of pearls on her long neck and wearing a wide feather brim hat. This is Consuelo Vanderbilt, who provided the opportunity for Blenheim’s restoration and whose fortune allowed Blenheim Palace to reach the glory that the great house still exhibits today.
Blenheim’s wealth of history can be absorbed and enjoyed forever, however, my stomach suddenly makes me realise I am rather famished. Luckily, there is a place to eat right here, where the afternoon event is taking place – The Orangery Restaurant by Searcy’s and it is hosting the ‘LP Pink T’, a swinging 60’s Afternoon Tea in honour of one of the decade’s finest creations, Laurent Perrier’s Curvée Rosé.
Who doesn’t love a fabulous champagne, especially when it comes in pink? This Laurent-Perrier iconic Curvée Rosé was created in 1968 from the boldness and know-how of the House of Laurent-Perrier. Perfected at each stage of its making, Cuvée Rosé is acknowledged for its consistency and high quality. It is characterised by its ripe red fruit aromas, a high intensity and great freshness.
Elegant, with colour changing naturally from a pretty raspberry hue to salmon-pink, it also exudes a precise nose of extraordinary freshness and a wide range of red fruits: raspberry, redcurrant, strawberry, black cherry. A fresh and sharp attack for this supple and rounded wine. On the palate, it offers the sensation of plunging into a basket of freshly picked red berries.
And can we talk about the shape of this sublime yet sophisticated bottle? The Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier bottle, with its generous, curvaceous lines, is unique – an invitation to self-indulgence. When Bernard de Nonancourt launched Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier in 1968, he decided to present his creation in a uniquely distinctive bottle to showcase this very special Cuvée at its supreme best. He found his inspiration in the rather stubby bottles manufactured in the time of King Henri IV, adding the seal-like monogrammed ‘LP’ shield. The packaging, which seemed very modern at the time, has gradually evolved since 1968. These days, Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier is sold in an extremely elegant presentation case reminiscent of the delicate colour of the wine and its Pinot Noir grapes. It is a highly-valued and much sought-after gift, the world over.
This new menu was exclusively created by Searcy’s culinary director, chef Darren Deadman, to mark the occasion. Using vintage vinyl ‘LPs’ as placemats, the tea features 60’s-inspired treats such as prawn cocktail, layered mille-feuille and spiced pineapple upside-down cake. Guests are also invited to indulge in sweet treats in all shades of pink from the opulent Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Jelly to strawberry macarons and Battenberg cake – all accompanied by a glass of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé. Is this your kind of glass of champagne? You have until 30th September to enjoy this one of a kind experience – cheers darling!
You are certainly spoilt for choice with numerous options for tours and experiences at the palace. Visitors can choose to access all areas (£27 for adults, £15.50 for kids) also, there’s an extra experience to check out 12th Duke of Malborough private residence if you wish.
The Swinging Sixties afternoon tea is £42.50 and includes a glass of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé, sounds perfect right!
Photos by Diana Martin Photography