Ok, so maybe I’m a little biased, but I feel pretty lucky to be pals with the people who always put on the best events. And knowing Miss Archer, the first ever Scran Social was never going to be anything short of spectacular. So she knew as soon as she’d sent the invites to her afternoon at Gusto, that me and Bosson would be there with bells on. Or at least pretty nice outfits anyway. I mean, who really needs an excuse for good food and good company?
Nestled on Newcastle’s quayside, Gusto is one of those places that’s made for warm weather. As soon as the sun comes out, their outdoor terrace is the ultimate riverside spot for sipping on prosecco while you soak up the rays. It’s one of the only chains I find that consistently serves up amazing food. Plus they offer a great Dining Club card. It’s free to become a member, and members get 20% off their food bill when they book a table online! As well as being kept up to date with all the rest Gusto’s news and promotions. If you haven’t already, then get yourself signed up!! So anyway.. when Lauren mentioned wine testing and a few nibbles throughout the event, I was completely sold. What I hadn’t anticipated though was the giant bowls of avocado and poached salad, pastas, pizzas and all sorts after we’d tried our hand at sampling a few different wines from their menu.
When it comes to wine, I know what I like but there’s something about wine tasting that feels a little pretentious still.. And even though I feel I can appreciate a good glass (or three), all that sniffing and gargling still feels a little forced. But when Jonny, Gusto’s resident wine man started going through the selection, I realised I was wrong. A lot of what had put me off things like wine testing, was usually the prats who were leading the session. As soon as he stepped up, Jonny was relaxed and confident. He explained the flavours of the wines, where they came from, the grapes they used.. Then he told us we didn’t have to spit it out. It was around about that point I realised wine tasting is actually pretty good.. But only when you have someone who’s actually interesting and doesn’t take themselves too seriously leading it. Having educated us on a variety of red, white and dessert wines, Jonny let is help ourselves to another glass or two as the staff started bringing out plates of food. And we certainly weren’t disappointed by the selection.
After working our way through deliciously creamy chicken and asparagus pastas, salmon salads and perfectly crispy pizzas, I felt like I was ready to burst. But then of course they brought out deserts: fresh donuts with melted chocolate and not so imaginatively named, Italian Mess. While both options were equally indulgent treats, the Italian Mess was definitely something to rave about! Made from blueberry meringue with fresh cream, strawberries and raspberries, each bit just melted away in my mouth.
What better way to spend a Saturday afternoon? I can’t wait to see what Archer pulls out for the next Scran Social!