Recently, in response to my plea for any snippets of information regarding Adelaide B&B’s history, Bob Kretschmer sent me some interesting notes. In them was a potted gem about the initiative of our Champ’s Cup. It is engraved as The Adelaide Beefsteak and Burgundy Club, Bill Walker Cup, Annual Wine Tasting Champion. Prior to its inauguration it took the form of a Tanker donated by the late Bill Walker, President 2001-02. All of the names from the Tankard have been transferred to the gold cup. Some early names from the Tanker are those of Tony Davidson,1997, Keith Gramp 1998 and Paul Kershaw from 1999. Where is this treasure these days?
Winston Churchill is reputed to have said, “We lived very simply – but with the essentials of life well understood and provided for – hot baths, cold Champagne, new peas and old brandy.” It would seem that the Beefsteak and Burgundians of past times also subscribed to much the same credo, but without the peas. On delving into some old menus it can be seen that on the commemoration of The Club’s 25th birthday on August 11th 1979, held at the Oberdan Convention Centre, members dined on croutons of egg farce with sardines and tomato puree, egg-salmon farce with stuffed olives and egg farce with smoked oysters. They then moved on to a Tahitian Fish Salad consisting of reef fish and accompaniments all served in an half coconut shell. The Soup De Citrouille with croutons, beef broth and so forth was baked in a pumpkin and then blended. After this ensued Paupiettes a la Normande. A lobster, whiting, apple cider, baby clam dish flamed in calvados, for those who don’t know. The Champagne Sorbet was followed by Pheasant Saint Hubert. This dish was served with a Redman Claret 1969, winner of 26 medals and two trophies and a 1973 Grange Hermitage which among other accolades won the coveted 1978 Montgomery Trophy in the Adelaide Show. Is Grange shown in shows anymore? I think not.
It was on June 28th 1986 that The Club welcomed the ladies to dinner at the Schoenenberg Restaurant, then run by Damiao De Freitas. On this occasion there was a choice of 4 entrees and 4 mains. The starting courses were from, Peppered Duck Liver Pate, Fanned Avocado, Seafood Terrine or Curried Scallops. The mains’ choices were between Fillets of Whiting, Turkey with Brie and Cashew Nuts, Chicken Breast and Fillet of Beef [with a pepper crust and a red wine glaze]. All very 1980s. The sweets menu was separate, whatever that tastes like.
A dinner at Orlando House was set for August 12th 1988. At this outing the members consumed the following beverages; 1983 Orlando Chardonnay Champagne [sic],1971 Orlando Rhine Riesling [as it was then known], a 1985 St Helga Chardonnay,1978 Orlando Shiraz, from the Barossa, 1985 St Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet, 1983 Orlando Coonawarra Botrytirised [sic] Rhine Riesling and finishing with an Orlando Tawny Port. The food was Canapés, an entree of Crab and Snapper Torte and a main of Confit of Duck with Duck Neck Sausage Seasoning and Demi-Glaze. Not a pea in sight.
Orlando House also figured again in the August of 1989 for the Annual General Meeting. There the members were served with Hors D’oeuvres, Ocean Trout with Saffron Cream, Duck and Green Olives in a Flaky Crust, a selection of Australian Cheeses, Rich Chocolate Cake with Hazelnut Cream and coffee with Haigh’s Chocolates.
The vino was once again from Orlando’s Stables. Served was a Carrington Cremant Chardonnay/Pinot Noir, a 1976 Eden Valley Rhine Riesling, a 1971 Cabernet Shiraz,1978 Barossa Shiraz, a 1986 St Hugo Cabernet, a 1988 Gramp’s Botrytis Semillon and an old favourite Show Port – KJ’s Blend. Once again no peas.
In 1990 Orlando House was not used, but it was the turn of the Naval, Military & Air Force Club. This time the wines were not all from the house of Orlando, just. The members imbibed in Seaview Champagne, Oliverhill Olorosso [sic] Sherry, 1898 Orlando Rhine Riesling, 1975 Eileen Hardy Cabernet Shiraz, 1973 Orlando Shiraz Cabernet, 1979 Orlando Gewurztraminer Rhine Riesling and a 1976 Southern Vales Vintage Port. The no-peas viands were Savouries, Sweet corn and Potato Chowder, Turkey Vol-au-vent, Fillet Steak [choice of 4 sauces],a selection of cheeses, and choice from Hot Apple Pie, Steamed Sultana Pudding, Cassata, Rum and Raisin Ice cream with Toasted Almonds. Coffee and mints followed.
On investigation it seems that the Adelaide Club’s pickled walnuts made their debut in 1995 alongside “KJG” Special Tawny Port. Could this be the same Port served in 1999? In any event Winston Churchill would not have survived as a member in these times – no aged Brandy. None the less the mere mortals of The Adelaide B&B Club were able to soldier on. As Brian Lilley was overheard to say, “Consuming wine in moderation daily will help members to die young as late as possible.”
Written by Bob Bowes, Adelaide Club Committee Member