Blank Canvas Wine Dinner – Wednesday 10th October

Wednesday 10th October, 7:00pm for 7:30pm

Matt Thomson, winemaker
Head Chef – Kenneth Culhane

Barny and Kenneth had a good time choosing the Blank Canvas wines for this dinner and creating the dishes for each course around them. The wines reveal the discernment of the makers, one of whom will introduce them through the dinner.

We chose each wine for richness, depth of interest and interplay with foods of this season, marking a definite change of gear and ‘colour’ here for the Autumn. The centrepiece is their rich Hawkes Bay Syrah 2014.

Flavours of chocolate, ripe black fruits, orange zest, juniper & pepper are reflected in venison and Alsace bacon hunters’ stew and for a vegan alternative in rich vegetable cassoulet, in each case with juniper, chervil roots, tangerine sage, grué and oats.

By good timing the arrival of the wines for the dinner coincided with the first log fire of the season here!

Vegan dishes can be requested in advance – the vegetarian cassoulet with the Syrah is already vegan. We take equal pleasure in creating good food and wine pairings for vegetarians, vegan and general diners alike and believe that good food and wine, one of life’s pleasures should be enjoyed together, whatever the diner’s preference, or need.

Blank Canvas embodies the story of a husband and wife team; international wine-making consultant Matt Thomson, and solicitor turned Master of Wine student Sophie Parker-Thomson.

Together they encompass thoughtful international experience in all areas of the wine industry. Their goal is to create distinctive small-batch, single vineyard wines that reflect the best sub-regional sites in New Zealand. The Blank Canvas philosophy embraces using as little manipulation as possible to uphold, over everything else, the wine’s sense of place. Wine-making influence from Europe is genuine, with both Matt and Sophie undertaking vintage in the Northern Hemisphere every year.

Matt explains, “consulting work, which I love, has allowed me to get where I am today. It has enabled me to accrue extensive experience and knowledge. Having worked over forty vintages in vastly different wine regions around the world, the time to launch my own wine range, together with Sophie, has come. It has been a long-time in the making and we’ve thought long and hard about how to capture the story of us, the special vineyards we draw fruit from and the non-mainstream styles of wine we are striving to create.”

Blank Canvas is about creating wines that push the sensory boundaries, that challenge the mainstream and that are essentially about enjoyment.

“Throughout the several decades I’ve been making wine across the globe, I’ve come across many, many different grape varieties. I’ve had to learn to know them quickly – before the vintage even starts – and I’ve had to know how to make the best possible wine from them. My approach to tackling new varieties is simple – taste them on the vine, chew the skins, taste other examples around and learn the strong points and pitfalls.” – Matt.

£95.00 per person
By reservation
(£50 per person deposit payable on booking)



Chickpea, mango and toasted brioche
White beetroot, fresh yeast and walnut crisp
2017 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Blank Canvas

Dulse seaweed baked root vegetables, duck and cherry ragoût bread
Dulse seaweed baked root vegetables, tomato and cherry ragoût bread
2015 Marlborough Pinot Noir, Blank Canvas

Poached cod, hazelnut and buckwheat, preserved lemon sauce
Petersham squash macaroni, toasted hazelnut and kaffir lime leaf
2016 Marlborough Chardonnay, Blank Canvas

Venison hunter’s stew, juniper and chervil root sauerkraut, grué and oat crumb
Vegetable cassoulet, chervil root, grué and oat crumb.
2014 Hawkes Bay Syrah, Blank Canvas

Apple tarte tatin, savoury burnt orange ice cream
2011 Hawkes Bay Noble Selection Semillon, Alpha Domus

Petit Fours

Vegetarian menu in grey
Table wines will be served in 125ml measures, dessert wine 50ml 

Some dishes may contain traces of nuts / Vegetarian menu available
Food Allergies and Intolerances: Before you order your food and drinks please speak to our staff if you have an allergy and want to know about our ingredients