A Spirited Occasion

Categories Lifestyle


Harry Roberts attend an exclusive event held by Glenmorangie at Sydney’s The Old Clare Hotel.

For Dr Bill Lumsden, passionate whisky connoisseur and director of distilling at single-malt Scotch label Glenmorangie, a day at the office is akin to being a kid in a candy store. So it seems fitting that for his latest concoction Dr Bill drew upon childhood memories of old-fashioned lolly shops, candied fruit and boiled confectionery, lacing Private Edition Milsean with notes of sweet nostalgia. This striking new drop was recently toasted at an exclusive dinner in Sydney, with the grand C.U.B. Suite of The Old Clare Hotel providing a suitably nostalgic foil.

“Whisky should be about enjoyment. It should be about fun. We don’t take ourselves too seriously in Scotland,” explained Dr Bill to the crowd of single-malt enthusiasts and design cognoscenti, which included architect Kelvin Ho and industrial designer Henry Wilson. “The idea behind Glenmorangie’s Private Edition range is to showcase experimentation, to do something slightly different, and Milsean is different from any of the experiments I’ve done before.” Aged first in ex-bourbon barrels before being matured further and re-toasted in red wine casks imported from Portugal, Milsean’s unique gestation has affected a heady mix of sweet and spicy flavours: ginger, brown sugar, sweet tobacco and cake mix.


At the dinner, these tasting notes set the tone for stylist Steve Cordony’s elegant tables, which heaved with fresh plums, peaches and jars of confectionery, and were matched by the piquant fare of The Old Clare’s in-house restaurant, Kensington Street Social. Serving up an irreverent take on hearty British staples, the menu neatly encapsulated the fusion of old-school craftsmanship and inventive panache that colours Glenmorangie’s Private Edition range.

The same could be said of The Old Clare itself and the superlative C.U.B. Suite. The former executive boardroom for the Carlton & United Breweries building, this spectacular space was preserved by a feat of engineering, suspended in its entirety during the construction of the hotel. Replete with original timber panelling, parquet floors and lofty ceilings marked by handsome mouldings, the apartment exudes the noirish glamour of a gentlemen’s club from a bygone era and proved perfectly suited to an evening of refined imbibing.


Serves 6-8

2kg piece suckling pork belly, rind on
Rock salt
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
½ bunch thyme, leaves picked
Kitchen string, to truss
Olive oil, to brush
Fine salt, to sprinkle

6 turnips (about 60g each)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
250ml (1 cup) veal stock
1 teaspoon finely chopped cornichons
1 teaspoon baby salted capers, rinsed, drained
1 tablespoon diced fresh tomato
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard

1 sugar loaf cabbage(spring cabbage)
1 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh fiat-leaf parsley

1. To prepare the pork, place enough rock salt to cover the base of a large baking tray. Add pork, skin side down, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove pork from salt, rinse and pat dry with absorbent paper.

2. Preheat oven to 230°C or 210°C fan forced. Scare the pork rind with a sharp knife. Place pork, meat side up, on a clean board. Spread the garlic, parsley and thyme over the meat Roll pork belly up from the long side to form a cylinder. Tie with kitchen string of regular intervals.

3. Place pork on a wire rack over a large baking tray. Brush rind with olive oil and sprinkle with fine salt Roast for 15-20 minutes or until rind is blistered and golden. Reduce temperature to 160°C or 140°C fan forced. Roast until internal temperature at the thicken part of pork is 70°C. Remove, brush off the excess dried salt, cover loosely with foil and set aside in a warm place to rest for 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, cook turnips in boiling water for 6-8 minutes. Drain and cut each into 6-8 wedges. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add turnips and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden. Deglaze pan with vinegar, simmer until vinegar has evaporated. Add stock and simmer until reduced to a sauce consistency Stir through cornichons, capers, tomato, parsley and mustard. Set aside, keep warm.

5. Cut cabbage into 6-8 wedges, cutting through root so wedges hold together. Heat a heavy-based pan or chargrill over high heat. Add cabbage and cook until blackened but still crisp. Set aside.

6. To serve, remove string from pork and out into thick slices (2 per serve). Reheat pork in oven with blackened cabbage, then toss cabbage with mustard and parsley. Divide cabbage between serving plates, place pork to the side, spoon over the wormed sauce and serve.

This story originally appeared in Belle Magazine. If you would like to read more of Belle Magazine head to