A dear friend who is keen on Feng Shui, mentioned smudging to me recently… does anyone now what it is? I didn’t have a clue what smudging was and was intrigued to find out more. Put simply, when a place is filled with people, be it a workplace or home, over time negative energy accumulates and eventually the building becomes heavy with negativity which can have an adverse effect on those that are “living” within it. This fascinated me and bearing in mind that Hotel TerraVina’s signature colour of orange was specifically chosen for its happy thought provoking and feeling of well being properties, I was keen to smudge!
I ordered smudge bundles- white sage, although a variety of dried herbs can be used, from California, but they are available in the UK from Herbalists and other such places I’m sure. I just fancied feeling even more like a hippy having herbs from California. My bundles arrived last week and I have been itching to smudge…. I got my chance on Tuesday, when the hotel was quiet and peaceful. I lit the bundles, took a deep breath and smudged through the hotel, smudging any staff who I encountered en route…. People can be smudged just as effectively and in fact an hour later, when I had finished, I had such a sense of calm and peace- my aura was feeling very positive! I’m going to look out my psychedelic trousers (Suzi and Laura hate them!) with the big flowers all over them and the bell bottoms and go back to my 60’s roots. I know I don’t look old enough to be a 60’s child, but happily I am.
Suzi was bemused, as were the rest of the team and of course they all think I have finally gone mad (they have suspected it for a while I’m sure!). Suzi warned me not to set the fire alarms off and I am relieved to report that I didn’t. The smell is a little pungent… actually not unlike mood enhancing drugs – albeit, I hasten to add that I don’t have first hand experience of taking such drugs, but as a Hotel Inspector I did visit a restaurant in a trendy part of London, where all the other diners were smoking something which smelt very pungent and made me feel like I was floating away with the fairies… but that’s another story!
Thus as well as the hotel, I have since smudged the house, my parents house, our cars, the puppy, my parents, myself and Gerard and Romané are on the list when I can catch them! I am confident that all negative auras have been banished and the hotel and everywhere else are once more in a balanced, calm and happy state- if I have gone mad, a least I feel peaceful, calm and at one with the fairies!
On a different note, but still with a Japanese theme (I think Feng Shui is a Japanese tradition?), Gerard helped to host a fascinating dinner last week. It was part of the Discover the Origin programme where different foods are married with each other and wines paired to the foods… his topic was Japanese food, paired with Parma ham, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and Burgundian and Douro wines. The Japanese restaurant, Tsukiji Sushi, at The Westbury was the venue for the dinner, where a number of journalists were invited, including food and wine and also travel writers, all of whom enjoyed the experience. Gerard thought it was most interesting and greatly enjoyed discovering that actually the foods and wines married well with each other in many instances and some of the dishes were delicious
Here’s the menu and the wines to give you a flavour of how different it was:
- Perle de Vigne Crémant de Bourgogne NV Louis Bouillot
- Tuna Tartar with Parma Ham (22months), red onion, myoga (ginger bud) and shiso leaf with truffle oil, tomato, yuzu miso and Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (30months) curl.
- Santenay, « les Charmes », Domaine Roger Belland, 2010
- Grilled Oyster with Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (22months), Sweet miso, Moromi miso and sesame seed.
- Bourgogne Aligoté, Domaine Jean-Phillipe Fichet, 2010
- Salmon Tataki (seared) with Yuzu Ponzu Jelly and Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (22months) crisp
- Quinta do Crasto Reserva Vinhas Velhas, 2010
- Filo King Prawn with a wasabi Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (22months) yoghurt, Parma Ham (22months), roasted pine nuts
- Quinta de la Rosa, 2010
- Black Cod with sake rice bran, Parma Ham (22months), Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (22months) and sweet miso ume (plum) vinaigrette
- Rully, “Les Cloux”, Domaine H&P Jacquesson, 2011
Fig and Parma Ham (22months) Tempura
with ume (plum) syrup and sesame seed
- 20 Year old Tawny, Graham’s
All in all, a bit of a different or even bizarre week (if you count the smudging), but fun all the same!
Till next week… Peace Man!