Monday, 23 January 2017

#FOODANDFLOWERS Event with Dine at The Mansion, Leeds

I was pleasantly surprised last week when an email landed in my inbox to invite me to a food and flowers event at a huge stately home in Leeds, aptly named The Mansion. It explained that the evening would consist of a lavish surprise three course meal, and flower crown making with the ladies from Twisted Willow, a local florist. I thought the idea of combining the two sounded intriguing, and I'm not trying to show off or anything, but I did do my year 9 work experience at my auntie's florist, so I do know my peonies from my peace lily's. (#justsayin') 

Anyway, I will get on to the night itself! I arrived late (shock) so the flower crown making was in full swing! I was given a wire, a huge bunch of flowers and foliage, and a massive helping hand from one of the florists to get me started. It was so fun- and really therapeutic!- making my crown, and I was sat amongst some lovely girls who I really got on with. Once I got going there was no stopping me, and I only went and bloody won the prize for the best crown!!!! (Potential next career move?!) My prize was a huge box of hand crafted chocolates by local chocolatiers Lauden- thanks guys!

Photo credit: Daniel Thubron from 123 Photography
After all the excitement of me winning *paints nails emoji*, it was time for the Ambassador's dinner! We were ushered out into the lobby where we had a chance to mingle with each other (my favourite part!) enjoy a cold glass of champagne (my second favourite part) and some seriously swanky canapés! The waiters were serving Venison Tartare on Chocolate Spätzle Discs, Ham Hock & Smoked Wensleydale Croquette with Apple Gel (in a smoking dome!) and Caprini Goats Cheese Cones with Tomato & Dill Concase, Fig & Balsamic Caviar. And yes I have copied and pasted everything that was served because WHO THE BLOODY HELL KNOWS WHAT A SPÄTZLE  IS?!?! I would say whatever it is it was yummy, but that was the only canapé I didn't actually try, as I'm not wild about raw red meat. But everything else was diviiiiine.

And that was just the tip of the iceberg! Shortly after, we were invited into the main dining area where the tables were decorated so beautifully and elegantly, with about 3239839 wine glasses (my kinda dining experience!) Because the menu was secret, we were served, and then the Head Chef came out and explained what it was- which I thought was a lovely touch! The starter was (again, hitting you with the copy & paste!) Crab & Saffron Risotto, Pan Fried Scallops & Tempura Soft Shell Crab. I don't think I have ever tried crab, but I am a huge fan of seafood and this was delicious! Each course was paired with a wine too, and that was equally as good.

The main- vegans look away now!- was Fallow Deer with Spiced Umbrian Lentils, Choucroute, Smoked Kale & Chocolate Jus. The chocolate jus complimented the venison perfectly, and the waiters came and poured each plate separately, which again was a a lovely touch, and really showed meticulous attention to detail! 

Then the dessert... oh my WORD this was insane. Dark Chocolate & Rosemary Tart with Fennel Ice-Cream, Orange Sherbet & Baked White Chocolate. The chocolate dark was so dense and decadent- definitely up there with my top desserts EVER. Which may sound not too hard considering my current top dessert is a dried fig smothered with cashew butter but still. It was EXCELLENT. And if we weren't already on the verge of having to increase our belt loops to the next one up, we finished off with coffee and Lauden chocolates.

Hats, gloves, trousers (joke)- EVERYTHING off to the chef for an absolutely incredible dinner. And a huge thank you to Dine, Twisted Willow and The Mansion for hosting an exquisite evening!

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