Whisky Magazine Issue 64
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Michael is invited for a special afternoon in Poland
The ambassador was spoiling us, as he does. No tailcoated waiters with mountains of chocolates on silver salvers. Or munroes of Scotch eggs, which I understand will be preferred should lunch follow independence.
This particular ambassador has a Scots name, Charles Crawford, but he also represents England, Wales and Northern Ireland. He was offering the hospitality of three nations and one province.
The United Kingdom's coat of arms, flanked by the lion and the unicorn, was embossed and printed in gilt at the head of the menu. Beneath was the legend: ‘Lunch on the occasion of Mr Michael Jackson'.
I recognised the name. Her Majesty's Ambassador in Poland had invited me to lunch with myself.
‘Home-made pasta with prawns, aromatised with mint' was to be the starter. Angel-hair pasta, to precise. Light, but spicily appetising.
‘Sea-bass with Thai fresh salad' was the main.
A lunch beautifully judged for a busy day was completed by fresh fruit and ice-cream. Cool Britannia.
I appreciated the welcome from the Ambassador, as a gesture of moral support. After an afternoon of media interviews I was to present a Scotch whisky dinner at the new Warsaw Hilton.
As an aperitif, I often serve Bladnoch. I find in it a lemongrass note that I feel works well in that role. The distillery's location, first across the border and southernmost in Scotland, makes a good start to an exploration of the country's whiskies.
And the story of its revival, against the odds is a good tale.