Last week I was invited along to a Christmas party preview event held by Grosvenor, a casino in Newcastle.
After attending last year with Laura, we put on our glitziest lippy and took ourselves off to the venue.
After a champagne reception and a quick chat with our other fellow guests, we were taken up to the poker room on the first floor which would be great for a private party as you are away from the hustle and bustle of the gaming floor, but thanks to the floor to ceiling windows, you are afforded a view of the melee below.
With crisp white linens and sparkly centre pieces, we were then spoiled with an array of food on a tasting menu with perfectly paired wine offerings to really show off the calibre of the onsite kitchen. Maybe the Casino isn’t the first place you’d go for a posh 3 course dinner but never discount the unknown eh!
Please excuse the following photos, I hadn’t planned on taking photos and once I decided, I realised I was sitting under a veritable floodlight and it wasn’t kind to my usually perfect camera phone skills!
For our first tasting course we had a prawn and salmon timbale with Marie Rose sauce. Ram packed with prawns, if this is the taster, think of the proper starter! Fresh and chilled, complimented by what tasted like mass produced sauce. No big deal but ‘home made’ would be great.
To follow the prawns were brie and cranberry parcels. First resembling a plate of Chinese wontons, on the first bite you are reminded it’s Christmas time. With a fair mix of strong brie and tender sweet cranberry, it is a perfect small plate of Christmas loveliness. The strong flavoured brie was cut through with the cranberry with a perfect balance. I think I will be stealing this idea come party season when we have friends round.
Just when we thought we couldn’t take another morsel, out came the fish course! Unfortunately I don’t eat Salmon so this I over to Laura to taste test! Perfectly cooked, the small pave of salmon was served with a creamy but not overpowering, delicious sauce and a slice of obligatory lemon! I only managed half of this generous piece but as a main, I would have no problem devouring this whole piece!
Last year, I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to sample the actual ‘Christmas dinner’ aspect of the party menu. Its as though the chefs heard my telepathic pleas and this year we were served up a Christmas dinner sampler! With a thick slice of juicy and moist turkey, adorned with stuffing and doused in meaty gravy, it was a great treat to behold. The first official Christmas dinner of the winter – YES! Served with al dente carrot batons, sprouts and tender stem broccoli, the inclusion of the ‘posh’ broccoli really elevated the experience. No stodgy mush veg here guys!
After a small breather, and more wine for those who were drinking (not us unfortunately!) out came the sticky toffee pudding. My Achilles heel in the pudding world! Moist and covered in toffee sauce, this was just a delight. Unfortunately the 2 bite portion didn’t last long enough to write anything else about it! Delicious!
As our final, hard to manage course, a lemon and lime mousse tart was presented with a sharp tangy raspberry coulis. The pastry was crisp and perfect, the mouse was on the right side of citrus and the coulis cut through all the flavours to stop it tasting ‘soapy’ which I find some citrus desserts can do if over done with flavouring.
The food was absolutely delicious and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone in the area looking for somewhere to book their Christmas event, or even check out a local Grosvenor to see what they offer. Last year, after attending the preview, my small 2 person work force took ourselves off there for our modest “party” and even got to see a Lady Gaga tribute act to boot!
This year, I have promised to take Mr T and Laura back to the Grosvenor for our 2013 Christmas Party. Blimey, running my own company is going to be expensive this year!
* I have not been paid or asked to write this review, but I was invited to the event.