I was guest of the Portcullis Club for a black tie dinner at Jesus College. Before it we had a really informative tour of the Cockerel Collection, a room full of models and images of cockerels! It’s based on a punning reference to John Alcock (1430 â€“ 1500), Lord Chancellor of England and founder of the college (1496). There were canapÃ©s beforehand in an adjoining room, but the first course of dinner was mozzarella and Parma ham, with apple and pear chutney. The fish course was a really nice and delicate fillet of sea bass with ProvenÃ§ale prawns. Then came chargrilled beef with onion marmalade (good) and fresh vegetables which I was too full to eat. The same is true of the “fallen chocolate soufflÃ©” with Armagnac prunes and crÃ¨me fraiche sauce, though I did have coffee and truffles.
The problem was that I was the speaker, and had my usual nerves to put me off my food. However, it was good, and I wished I’d been able to do it more justice. The wines were a Moulin de la Grange 2005 chardonnay and the same label 2004 cabernet/syrah, both pleasant. It was an excellent evening, the sort Cambridge does well.