Date: 12th May 2007 at 9:04am
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Never one to miss out on a good feed, Freddie Shepherd has been wining and dining Big Sam Allardyce at Claridges as initial talks on taking the post move forward.

Freddie started with Goosnargh duck and foie gras mosaic, Red Pippin apple and walnut salad. He then had his main, poached and grilled Guinea fowl, braised kohlrabi, shallots and celery with marjoram velouté, before rounding the meal off with lemon Verbena parfait, poppy seed tuile and Gariguette strawberries.

Meanwhile Big Sam, slightly more health conscious than our portly leader, started with poached wild sea trout, watercress and fennel salad, toasted dill bread, before demolishing roast Shetland Isles cod, smoked potato purée and St. George mushroom fricassée with a Pinot Noir reduction. For pudding he took a seasonal rhubarb almond tart with iced Jersey cream.

In between filling their faces Freddie said “Sam’s excited and we’re looking forward to making this work’ and that he wants “Sam’s determination, enthusiasm and ability to lift the club’.

Sam commented: “It was a good meeting and my agent will speak to Newcastle again over the next few days to discuss matters further.”

No mention about what they thought of the meal though.