Meet The Team: Georgie Kukielka

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23rd March 2016 by Georgie Kukielka

Describe Bel & The Dragon 

Bel & The Dragon is more than a dining room or bedroom away from home. Music, lighting, furnishings, decor & many other ingredients combine to create warmth, comfort & plenty of old-world country charm. They work together in much the same way as the food & a carefully selected wine. It just makes a lot of sense when they find their way into each other’s company.

Describe your role at Bel & The Dragon

First and foremost, I am responsible for finding wines that compliment the food, atmosphere & style of each restaurant and that meet the needs of our guests. As Bar Operations & Wine Development Manager, it is so important not to lose sight of this. At the same time, I ensure that the front of house team are able to make recommendations as well as knowing exactly where to find the white Burgundy or 2005 Château Chasse-Spleen. After all, guests should have their wine promptly.

What do you enjoy about your role?

No day is ever the same. I frequently meet producers and vintners to taste amazing products (it’s a hard life I know, but someone has to do it) and learn about what is new to the wine market. Sharing these experiences with the team & guests make my job so worthwhile. It is incredibly rewarding when a wine I have selected is really enjoyed by a guest and in my opinion, is indicative of a job well done.

What do you love most about Bel & The Dragon?

Our wine. Well, what did you expect me to say? Seriously, I challenge you to find a wine list that offers such exceptional value for money in the South of England. Our cellar list is a celebration of some stunning vintages and fine wines. Thanks to the Coravin, our new needle-through-the-cork device, guests can opt for a glass from their preferred bottle. We believe in making fine wine accessible for all. 

Best Bel & The Dragon dish?

I am fortunate enough to sample most dishes as they are introduced to the menu and singling out one is no easy task. However, our Saddle of Lamb is very seasonal right now and is presented beautifully in a salt baked crust. It tastes heavenly too. 

Top tipple?

There is never a straightforward answer to this question, particularly where food & wine are involved. When the flavours interact, they impact one another. Carmel Road Pinot Noir has been a longstanding friend of mine and it happens to pair rather beautifully with the New Season Saddle of Lamb.

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