Last month I was invited to a foodie event at the Celtic manor’s Newbridge on Usk, I was really excited as I had heard great things about the place but never visited. It was a little bit funny that I should be invited since I am a terrible cook, but I do love food and learning new things so here is how it went.
It all began with me getting lost and turning up late, as always, even so I was warmly greeted by the staff at the Newbridge on Usk who handed me a glass of champagne. There were some lovely nibbles on offer too.
The other bloggers at the event had already been shown around the garden where the Newbridge on Usk team actually grow many of their own fruit and vegetables, you can’t get much more local or fresher than that! We were then shown into the room where we were to receive the ‘garden to plate’ demonstration from the head chef Adam.
Adam got stuck straight into the whisking up of some meringues and I was mesmerised to see how easy he made it all look, even I could make these I thought. To my surprise there is actually more than one type of meringue and one can be made with a blow torch, this was all new to me and fascinating to watch. Once Adam had finished the strawberry soup and added the cucumber flower to his creation we were then able to try it out and I have to say I was really surprised, I knew it would taste nice but I had no idea how a dish that looks so simple to make could be so delicious. I have to say I’ve yet to see a group of bloggers so quite, watching the masterpiece being created left us all a bit lost for words. I did however ask if this was a recipe children could get involved with and he sad yes, provided they aren’t allowed anywhere near that incredibly hot glucose and sugar mixture.
Next Duncan the Newbridge on Usk manager gave us a little talk on the alcohols and mixtures that are available, again I was surprised to hear that they are able to pick herbs and fruit such as mint and raspberry from their garden and mix with the alcohols such as rum or vodka to make their own special blends, these are also sourced locally wherever possible. Of course the alcohol is a preservative and if the mixtures last longer than a week (apparently not often) they will keep perfectly well. Whilst Duncan explained the mixtures and alcohols are locally sourced where possible we were treated to some snacks, including little shot glasses of pea soup, and it was gorgeous.
Finally we were treated to an energetic demonstration from the entertaining bar man, who talked about muddles and slapping mint and all sorts of random things that resulted in some pretty fantastic cocktails. We all got to have a go at recreating the ones we liked best, I chose the mojito, and discovered it doesn’t need shaking with the shaker (duh!). Leanne from A Slice of my life, Wales was alongside me doing her thing with her choice too, then Kacie and her friend from The Rare Welsh Bit had their turn and finally Ed from Explore With Ed made his cocktail and I think we all had fun having a go. Again it was made to look easy but it really wasn’t!
So as the evening came to an end we had all been fed, watered and entertained and were happy with our little goodie bags which contained a little loaf of bread, little tasters of alcohol and a discount code, which I have used since on a lovely piece of steak one evening with a friend. We were impressed and I will certainly be going back again.
Thanks again to everyone at the Newbridge on Usk, it was a wonderful evening and it was lovely to meet some other Welsh bloggers in the process!
*I was invited along as a guest of the Newbridge on Usk for this event, however opinions as always are my own.