Whisky Magazine Issue 57
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The Ardbeg candelight dinner is becoming an institution. Martine Nouet, who is at the event's core, reports on this year's event
This year's Islay Malt and Whisky Festival brought onto the island its usual profusion of enthusiasts geared up for a week of tastings and fun. The Ardbeg Candlelight dinner has now become a classic in the festival-goers diary.
The booking, only opened from 9am on the launch day of the festival, breaks new records each year. Last year, the 57 seats were sold out in seven minutes. This year the first earlyrisers had arrived at 6.30. By 8am, there were enough people queuing up to fill the booking list.
And the phone kept ringing. Jackie Thomson, head of the visitors'reception centre, stopped answering, knowing she would have to turn down people who phoned exactly at 9am as they had been told to do when they had tried to book earlier.
The funny thing is that the event is not publicised at all and hardly mentioned on the festival programme.The delicious combination of food and malt certainly explains its amazing popularity but there's more to it. The relaxing and friendly atmosphere of the Old Kiln café, and the enticing mix of sea and smoke smells which float around are as inviting as the menu.
The crofter welcome
A salmon and saffron quiche, herb bruschetta and a bowl of cream of oatmeal with bacon and whisky With Ardbeg Still Young
Light Starter Gougères (cheese chou pastry)
Chicken breast in a creamy mushroom and whisky sauce, baked potato stuffed with herbs, nuts and dried fruit, mashed carrots with a vanilla hint. With Glenmorangie...