Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Christmas lunch at work

Not a stitch of work was done yesterday as we went for Christmas lunch. At least I didn't manage to get much done in the morning, and I don't think anyone else did either! There were about 65 of us booked for the lunch and I didn't even know there were that many people in the department!

The lunch was at The Chequers Inn in the Vale of Belvoir. There was a great view of Belvoir Castle from the restaurant. It is not an easy place to get to and a car is definitely required. But if you can get there, the food and ambience is really lovely. I am sure they do a lot of wedding receptions there.

There was a wide selection from the Christmas menu, which we had all ordered in advance:

Cream of leek & potato soup.
Home smoked salmon & prawn cocktail.
Chicken liver parfait with onion marmalade.
Mozzarella & cherry tomato salad with basil fritters.

~Main course~
Traditional roast turkey with all the trimmings.
Slow roast rib of beef, creamed potatoes, glazed shallots & horseradish cream.
Roast salmon fillet with fondant leaks.
Brown shrimp and tomato butter.
Wild mushroom and fontina risotto.

Traditional Christmas pudding.
Vanilla crème brulee.
Sherry Trifle.
Stilton & cheddar cheese plate with fruit and oat cakes.


Coffee/tea and mince pies

I had a creamy Chardonnay throughout the meal, which I thought went beautifully with all the courses. For starter, I had the smoked salmon and prawn cocktail. It was delicious with that sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper over the top. I didn't have very much of the (lovely and soft) bread roll and butter on the side - saving tummy space!


Turkey with all the trimmings. Two slices of turkey, topped with stuffing and bacon wrapped chipolata, roast potatoes and steamed vegetables.


I was really glad that I chose the creme brulee for dessert, which was divine. There was a smear of chocolate, a streak of crushed pistachio nuts, a china spoon of cranberry sauce and icing sugar dusted all over. I was too full by then to touch the shortbread biscuit.


A closeup of the lovely, crunchy, caramelised top.


The wreckage towards the end of the afternoon

The poor unloved mince pies. I think hardly any one on my table had the mince pies that came with tea and coffee. We were all completely stuffed!


When the first email went round saying it would be a 1pm sit-down and the coach should leave the restaurant by 4pm, if not earlier, I remember thinking there was no way we would be there for so long. But we did leave at 4pm yesterday! It's amazing how much time it takes to eat so many courses, with wine and conversation flowing like water, and having time in between each courses for clearing and serving. Leisurely dining is definitely highly recommended.

I was still really full when I got home but Andy was of course hungry for dinner. We did manage to have chicken ramen soup at around 7.30pm, which was later than our normal 6pm dinners. I made fresh stock for that with turkey carcass, but that's for another post.


Kevin said...

Sounds like a good Christmas party with lots of great food.

Nilmandra said...

It was a good party indeed. My colleagues were rather amused by me taking photos of the food though, hehe.

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