ND Events brought a group of Destination Management Companies to Northern Ireland this week and yesterday they all came for lunch. It is a very social thing to have DMCs looking over the house and allowing their imagination to work out how our venue could work for their clients. We obviously do tours of the house, but we also have small residential conferences. We are very close to the Irish Sea and we can reach the beach via a private underpass making it possible for our clients to arrange surprise tours for their team. We have lots of other different activities too.
We do all the in house catering ourselves and yesterday was no exception. My butternut squash from the Walled Garden came into its own as a wonderful rich soup. I had baked focaccia to go with it and Abernethy butter was on the table too. It is extremely hard to beat high quality ingredients. This was followed by Martin Wishart’s crab cakes with our own salad and more lovely bread. For pudding we had a Nectarine Frumble, a word invented by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. For me it was a little disappointing in the flavour. I think next time we’ll mix in some blue berries to to up it a bit ………. but the rub is we’ll have to wait till next summer for the blue berries to be in season.
We rounded the lunch off with Mike’s Young Buck cheese and I baked some Eccles Cakes to gowith it. Heston Blumenthal recommends having these little gems with a blue cheese. I had decorated the table with some medlars. Very few of our guests had ever tasted this old fashioned fruit. It is eaten when it begins to rot. This makes it sweet and it goes particularly well with a blue cheese.
All arrangements worked particularly well because of the weather so one of the DMC’s activities had to be cancelled which meant we were not in a rush.