Beckett’s in Glebe, which has been open now for just under a year, is hosting a delicious and special champagne and cognac dinner next Thursday. Read on to find out more.
Who is Beckett’s?
Beckett’s bravely opened its doors in late March 2021 during COVID. Named after Wendy Beckett, famous Australian playwright-director, and Glebe local, and also business partner of the venture. Beckett’s is headed by co-owner and Chef Jeff Schroeter, and his wife Jules, who fell in love with him the moment she tasted his caviar covered steak tartare. The partners have had a friendship of over 15 years that came about through their children attending the same primary school.
The gourmand’s tour of Champagne and Cognac
The champagne and cognac dinner appropriately called “gourmand’s tour of Champagne and Cognac” is part of the Beckett’s ongoing line-up of Clubhouse events. This event is open to Clubhouse members and the general public. (more about the Clubhouse membership here: https://www.beckettsbardining.com.au/club-house)
In this February Clubhouse event, you’ll savour a delicious 5 course menu of French food paired with 7 champagne cuvées and 2 cognacs. Cognac and Champagne enthusiast Gavin Lennard, of Buzz Wines, will talk you through the cuvees and cognacs and chef Jeff Schroeter through the paired dishes.
Champagnes and cognacs
The champagnes chosen for the evening are from Gosset Champagne and the cognacs from Frapin. Gosset is the oldest wine house in Champagne, founded by Pierre Gosset, Mayor of Aÿ, in 1584! Gosset’s Champagnes have long been regarded as an exemplar of style when it comes to enjoying Champagne with food. Frapin is world-renowned for its cognac and is known as a producer of some of the very finest of Cognacs on the market.
And if you really love one of the champagnes or cognacs? Good news is that guests will be able to buy wines directly from Buzz Wines on the night.
The gourmand’s tour of champagne and cognac at Beckett’s is not only a delicious and informative evening. It is also a great way to meet like-minded people who also appreciate the finer things in life.
KEY INFO FOR A GOURMAND’S TOUR OF CHAMPAGNE AND COGNAC AT BECKETT’S
WHAT: A 5 course French meal paired with 7 champagne cuvées and 2 cognacs.
WHEN: From 6 to 10pm Thursday 24 February
WHERE: Beckett’s Private Wine Cellar, 134A Glebe Point Road, GLEBE
As we prepare to farewell 2021, we thought we’d take a look at the highlights of French culture in Australia this year on Matilda Marseillaise. We’ve had celebrations of French food and wine to art exhibitions, festivals and other events with French themes. We’ve interviewed people across many areas including international touring artists and local French and francophone people. Join us as we look back over 2021.
French culture in Australia: French Food days
Food is an extremely important part of French culture in Australia as much as in France. January was of course the month of the Galette des Rois which is always one of our most popular posts and has become the go-to resource for French and Francophiles in Australia to find out where they can buy this special cake around Australia.
You can’t have food without something to drink and we continued our French wine varietal series throughout the year with facts about the varietals and recommendations from French wine importers in Australia. We also celebrated World Bartenders Day with French cocktails.
We looked at French spirits and liqueurs: Chartreuse Daywith a look at the history of the green drink and a day celebrating another often-green drink: Absinthe Day. In addition, we discovered strong French links in one of the most popular spirits of the moment: gin. We also celebrated another spirit that you probably don’t associate with France: vodka.
Australia’s borders were still shut due to COVID-19 so festival time didn’t feature any international acts in 2021. 2021 highlights instead were French themed shows or shows from artists with French linksat Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival and Sydney Festival. These provided opportunities to enjoy French culture in Australia.
Particularly strong French links were found in performances at Adelaide Fringe including music in different styles, theatre and more. The White Mouse told the story of Australian French Resistance leader, Nancy Wake. Louise Blackwell and the Paris Settook us to Paris for the night.
By the time June came, Adelaide Cabaret Festival was able to bring in a few international acts including Brent Ray Fraser, who paints with a very unique and personal tool. Kim David Smithgave a strong nod to Marlene Dietrich with his show Mostly Marlene also at Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
Auburn in South Australia’s Clare Valley was transformed into a French village and a celebration of French culture in Australia for a weekend at the inaugural Auburn Frenchfest, which will return in 2023.
Le Festivalwas held over 4 separate events throughout the year, bringing 4 weekends of French joy to Brisbane.
French and francophone culture in Australia: National Days
An international exhibition of a different scale and type, Van Gogh Alivealso toured in 2021 and continues to tour Australia. Our Hearts are Still Open, a photographic exhibition and book were recently unveiled in Sydney and we chatted to Australian-born photojournalist Tony Maniaty about them.
French and francophone film
The Alliance Française French Film Festivalreturned to the big screen in March and April 2021. Highlights for us included Bye Bye Morons, Missamong those that we reviewed. Countless others were also enjoyed. Because of COVID-19 lockdowns throughout Europe for much of 2020, Australian audiences were the first to see a number of films shown at the AFFFF 2021 including Eiffel and Delicious. We interviewed incoming Artistic Director of the festival, Karine Mauris.
One of our most read film reviews this year was for a film which is now on SBS on Demand: Roxane. With most of the Eastern states in lockdown over several months of the year, our articles about previous festival films available on streaming services were also well-read.
We interviewed Sydney music duo Goldfynchon the occasion of their release of the beautiful escapist song “Ballooning over Paris” something we all longed to do with Australia’s closed borders. Baby et Lulu’s much anticipated Album Trois was finally released and we chatted to Lara Goodridge. Pauline Maudy of MZAZA toured her show “Take me to Paris” around Queensland.
The French Rugby team Les Bleus played 3 test matches against Australia’s Wallabies in Sydney and in Brisbane. We told you where you could watch them around Australia.
Other French happenings
Adelaide’s Les Deux Coqs in conjunction with Holdfast Bay City council started Rendezvous Market, a European Marketwith foods and crafts from many European countries being represented.
Glasshouse Fragrances’ launched a French inspired collectionjust in time for Bastille Day with delicious scents of Montmartre Macaron and Sacred Heart.
We made sure you knew your French (and Belgian) dogs from the imposters for International Dog Dayin August.
In November, Sacreblue, the Embassy of France in Australia’s brand new website dedicated to French culture in English was launched and we were finally able to announce our partnership with them.
We interviewed cabaret singer Caroline Ninand director Craig Ilottabout L’Hôtel, an immersive theatrical world of French intrigue which made its worldwide debut at Adelaide Cabaret Festival in June.
We interviewed a man who is perhaps Australia’s most famous French television chef, Gabriel Gatéfor International Chefs Day.
One of the first international productions to visit Australia since COVID-19 struck and closed our borders in March 2020 was The Little Prince, direct from Marseille to the Sydney Opera House. We interviewed Chris Mouronwho adapted the book for stage, Ebony Bott of the SOHabout the logistics of bringing an international team to Australia, and staging a large show during COVID-19 times. The Little Prince is making a return to Sydney for a limited season of shows in early January – read our interview with Lionel Zalachas and Laurisse Sulty
We chatted to Michael Boyd, illusionist and also show director of Cabaret de Paris which started its Australian tour with new lead, Rhonda Burchmore.
We spoke to Australian author Pip Drysdale about her thrilling novel The Paris Affair.
The French Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry held events both virtual and in person, where permitted, throughout the year including the French ANZ Business Days 2021 business forumwhich covered a number of interesting and pertinent topics.
It’s been a busy year! What have your highlights been? Is there anything you’d like to see on Matilda Marseillaise in 2022?