Over three nights from 27th – 29th July, we saw our latest guest chefs Troy, Simon and Dan take over Newcastle Castle to serve a delightful feast to each of our guests.
From Simon’s ‘Crewe Cured’ salmon, to Troy’s now famous lemon mash (which is spectacular might I add) to Dan’s surprise petit fours, the food certainly matched the elegance and style of the Castle’s Great Hall, where our diners enjoyed watching the chefs cook for them.
All Hands on Deck…
With the whole Castle available to us throughout the event, we had planned the perfect evening for our guests; drinks reception in the Goal, dinner on the rooftop and surpirse entertainment in the Great Hall. While we had planned to be on the roof for all three evenings, British weather soon put a stop to that idea! On Thursday at 4pm, it was still showering on and off so while the sun was shining, the wind and rain put a definitive stop to a rooftop extravaganza. The decision was made to bring the experience down and into the Great Hall. However, guests were blown away with the room and how we had set it up with candlelight giving the perfect ambience and soft music playing in the background. Guests were still able to enjoy views of the roof if they so wished while having their reception drink, or their after dinner drink.
With the tables set and the team ready to go, guests were welcomed in the Goal for a drinks reception. With a glass of fizz in hand, the guests were free to look around the Goal and chat to other guests as well as our team about the evening that was to follow. While many were curious about what the surprise entertainment would be, our team kept that information under wraps as to not to spoil the surprise that was to follow their incredible dinner.
From The Goal, guests climbed the spiral stairs leading them to The Great Hall where they were able to see the room for the first time. As our team sat the guests, there was a lot of mumbled wow’s and ahhh’s as they took in the grandeur of the whole room; from the table, to the tall ceilings to the candles lining the stairs at the opposite side of the room – it was a perfect dinner setting indeed!
Time To Eat…
As guests were poured water and offered the wine to compliment their first course, I welcomed guests with a warm introduction of The Experimental Diner, followed by a brief introduction of the guest chefs for that evening. I then handed over to the guest chef to host the evening, occasionally chipping in with the odd quirk to keep the conversation flowing while the chefs cooked, plated and explained each dish as it was served by the Experimental Diner team.
The room fell all but silent when each dish was served as all guests marvelled at the flavours on the plate, some firing questions at the chefs asking for recipes or hints and tips on how to make the mash so creamy, or how to pack that much flavour into a vegetable! To see more of the incredible food served, head over to our gallery for some select photos from Chris Ord, our truly talented photographer!
As each course went by and glasses were kept topped up, guests relaxed into the new experience chatting to the chefs and each other, making new friends and creating a wonderful and friendly atmosphere throughout the evening.
Surprises To Come…
As the guests finished scraping the last of their desserts from the bowls each evening, they were invited to grab an after dinner drink from our make-shift bar in the corner of the Great Hall and make their way up to the roof for their surprise entertainment.
Once on the roof, guests were offered blankets to keep them warmer against the chilly wind and joined other diners with their welcome drinks that were yet to enjoy the culinary delights waiting for them in the Great Hall. Here on the rooftop, guests were treated to a history of the Castle, some insight into war time back in the day and a fantastic sword fight display by two of the Castle staff! Not to mention the most incredible view of the city that I have ever seen!
We are positive that all guests had a phenomenal experience at the Castle, and while speaking to all guests in between courses or while enjoying their after dinner tipple, Jacqui, myself and the chefs received nothing but praise, admiration and genuine gratitude for the whole experience. To see what others thought of the event, see what New Girl in Toon and Katy Wheeler at the Sunderland Echo had to say in their reviews.
The Experimental Diner, i.e. Jacqui and I, would just like to give our team a massive thank you for their hard work, and for climbing up and down the stairs constantly! A big thank you to the chefs, Troy & Adam, Simon & Jared, and Dan & Chris for their culinary skills and entertaining our guests. And finally to the Castle staff for their help in making the whole event possible. THANK YOU!
If you would like to see The Experimental Diner brought to you, simply get in touch and let us know where you would like to see us next, or sign up to the mailing list for updates on where to expect us next!
Love, Lauren and TED x