first to the bar

27 August, 2008
l Basset opens Terravina

Well-known Master of Wine , master sommelier and founder of the Hotel du Vin hotel chain, Gerard Basset has opened his own hotel in southern England's New Forest .

Basset - who also found time to write Wine Experience, a definitive book on wine tasting - describes Terravina, close to the port of Southampton, as "a boutique hotel in the country".

An interesting wine list goes without saying and the food - "Californian wine country-style that makes the best use of local produce" - comes from Rory Duncan who was formerly at One Aldwych in London and Driftwood in Cornwall.

The family-run hotel boasts an open kitchen with wood-burning stove and a covered veranda for al fresco dining. It also has a fully equipped conference room that can accommodate 36 people.

l Are you Sure?

The Rezidor Hotel Group has unveiled what it describes as two new concepts - Sure Bar, a "stylish style bar with an Irish flavour" and Brasserie de Verres en Vers (pictured), which is said to be a modern interpretation of a French brasserie in its Radisson SAS Royal Hotel in Dublin.

Sure boasts cocktails and gourmet bar food and is a "working partnership with Waterford Crystal", so selected drinks are served in stemware from the famous Irish crystal maker.

The brasserie has an all-day menu and a focus on fresh produce. Rezidor worked with the Gorgeous Group to try to make Sure and Verres en Vers stand alone from the hotel itself.