Updated: Friday, 19th September 2014 @ 10:41am

Cheese and wine platters @ Podium restaurant, Hilton Manchester Deansgate

Cheese and wine platters @ Podium restaurant, Hilton Manchester Deansgate

By Helen Le Caplain

The UK is enjoying something of a retro renaissance with influences found in fashion, music and dining experiences.

And now the humble cheese and wine party, once solely a middle-class affair held in the leafy suburbs, has been elevated to gourmet standards at the Hilton hotel in Manchester Deansgate.

But this is no ordinary 1970s-inspired experience – you certainly won’t be hearing the dulcet tones of Demis Roussos or Baccara in the luxurious surroundings of Podium restaurant any time soon.

Instead award-winning head chef David Gale is offering connoisseurs of fine dining the opportunity to sample a delicious range of local, regional and continental artisan cheeses, cold meats and fine wines.

Boasting an impressive seven cheeses per platter, along with salami, grilled vegetables, crackers and chutney, it was difficult to know where to start.

A helpful waiter advised us to start with the milder, creamier cheeses and work our way to the blue cheeses – no mean feat when there are seven to get through!

The Appleby’s Cheshire cheese, paired with a crisp white Chardonnay, proved to be a delightful start due to its rich and creamy flavour that left a delicious aftertaste.

Other highlights included Y Fenni, a Welsh cheese which combines a cheddar cheese with the peppery taste of mustard seeds and ale.

However the cream of the crop was Brie de Maux, an exquisite cheese which was deliciously pungent both in aroma and taste.

I left the blue cheeses to my dining partner who assured me that they were big on taste, particularly Queso Azul de La Mancha which endured an unusual maturing process of being wrapped in bay leaves and left in a damp Spanish cave.

The crackers, meat and antipasti, along with the specially paired wines, cleansed the palette in between each cheese 'course' ensuring that each delicious nuance was appreciated. taster.

This sumptuous delicatessen experience is the perfect way to wind down after work and, and at just £15 per sharing platter, it won't break the bank.

Although you won't be subjected to cheesy 1970s tunes, I'll be sure to take a leaf out of Raffaella Carrà's book and Do It, Do It Again.

The cheese and wine platters will be available 7 days week at Podium Restaurant from 4-8pm.

To reserve your place call 0161 870 1670 or email events.manchesterdeansgate@hilton.com

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