Wine dinner and Music – Ivo Varbanov, Bulgaria

Wednesday 22nd November, 6:30pm for 7:00pm

ivo-varbanov-logoAn evening of wine and food, opening with music.

Passion and perfectionism in making and sharing distinctive and lovely wines, on a small scale, in Ivo’s homeland, in promoting the culture and natural values of Bulgaria and in making music, internationally, as concert pianists are the hallmark of husband and wife team, Ivo Varbanov and his wife, Fiammetta Tarli, the duo Tarli Varbanov. 

Reflecting this unusual combination, canapes and aperitifs will be served, followed by a short four hands piano recital by them. 

Dinner will then be served, and Ivo will talk about the character of his wonderful wines during the evening. The wines for this evening were chosen by Barny and Kenneth and the ingredients, flavours and dishes chosen and crafted specially around the wines.

Ivo Varbanov, owner and concert pianist
Sakar, Bulgaria

Head Chef – Kenneth Culhane

£85.00 per person
By reservation
(£50 per person deposit payable on booking)

Menu and Wines

Comté gougères
Dorset crab, miso and grapefruit

Four-hands piano recital from Ivo Varbanov and his wife, Fiammetta Tarli.

Charred mackerel tartare, cucumber, horseradish, crispy shallot, shiso dressing
Chardonnay 2015 “Passions d’Or”

Gateau of local mushrooms, Old Winchester cheese, black truffle sauce
Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 “Emperor”

Root vegetable pot au feu, roasted cep, black olive and clementine crumble
Merlot/Syrah 2011 “Sheherazade”

Roast mallard, juniper and umeboshi plum, smoked mash, Poivrade Sauce
Syrah 2013 “The Firebird”

Santarém 65% chocolate, Marselan and beetroot reduction, malt ice cream
Marselan Late Harvest 2011 “Arquelin”

Petits Fours

All wine will be served in 125ml measures, sweet wines 75ml

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

ivo-varbanovIvo Varbanov is a classical pianist, living in England, who several years ago decided to cultivate a vineyard in his native country. After much searching he chose an area around South Sakar Mountain, around the village of Izvorovo. In 2006, he purchased 13 ha of land, of which 7 ha are currently planted with Syrah, Marselan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier, Petit Manseng, Chardonnay and Fiano. 

Ivo Varbanov’s goal is to produce wines, which truly reflect the terroir of the area, which he considers to be one of the best regions in the Balkans. The winemaking process occurs at the Bratanovi Winery. Winemaking was managed by Galya Krusteva and Maria Stoeva with visiting winemakers from New Zealand (Hayden Penny and Jess Weaver), Hungary (Richard Labnacz), and Italy (Amedeo Albano), and consulting from Andrea Macchia and Luca D’Attoma. 

The concept and direction of the wines belongs solely to Ivo. Using organic and biodynamic agricultural practices, the vineyards naturally have small harvest yields. The Ivo Varbanov vines have the capabilities to produce between to 15,000 – 20,000 bottles a year, depending on the year, the experiments and the cultivation methods.

“We are a young and dynamic team striving for perfection. Our passion and commitment is to creating wines of the highest possible quality with a great respect for nature. We are wine lovers ourselves and nothing gives us greater pleasure than to please and challenge the palates, senses and intellects of our friends and customers.”

Ivo Varbanov is a leading figure of Bulgarian music and culture abroad. After a forced stop from performing from 2009 to 2012 due to Leukaemia he has returned to the stage with impressive performances at the Royal Festival Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, at King’s Place in the ‘Brahms Unwrapped’ season, and at Cadogan Hall.

He is a recipient of the Ivan Vazov Award for the popularisation of Bulgarian Culture abroad, and in 2011 he was also awarded the Silver Lion Award from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His performances have been broadcast on Bulgarian National Radio, BBC Radio, RAI 3, Classic FM+, Spanish National Radio, Slovak National Radio, Bulgarian National TV, BTV, and TV Bulgaria.

In the last two seasons he has performed in Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Austria and an 8 concert tour of the United Kingdom. He is recording a further 2 albums for ICSM Records and a recording of the Dimitar Nenov Piano Concerto and Ballade for Piano and Orchestra No 2 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Maestro Emil Tabakov for Hyperion Records.

Fiammetta Tarli plays regularly throughout Europe, as a soloist and in chamber ensembles including pianist Iain Ledingham, violinists Yana Burova and Ofer Falk (former first violin of the Allegri Quartet), and her husband Ivo  (two pianos – four hands). Highlights of her recent engagements include Cadogan Hall and in the festival, ‘Brahms Unwrapped’, at Kings Place London.

Together with Ivo she founded a new audiophile record label: Independent Creative Sound and Music (ICSM) Records.

She started studying piano at the age of five in Pisa, her hometown, and gave her first concert at nine. She earned her diploma in Piano Performance and Music Studies at the Florence Conservatoire at the age of seventeen. 

Her keen interests in literature and musicology prompted her to achieve her Master of Musicology and PhD at King’s College London, while continuing her performing and teaching. They also explain the literary introduction to her website, below. 

Her recording projects in 2017-2018 include Schumann’s Piano Concerto and Piano Quintet, a two-piano programme with the world première recording of a piece especially composed for the duo Tarli-Varbanov by the Argentinian composer Silvina Milstein, a solo recording featuring piano compositions by Ravel, Debussy and Martin Georgiev (world première recording), and Mozart’s Two-piano Concertos (K. 365 and 242). 

“Art teaches nothing, except the significance of life”, Henry Miller 

A wonderful introduction to the promised pleasures of this evening.