We are fortunate enough to be getting married later this year at Leeds Castle, anecdotally described as ‘the loveliest castle in the world’, which is a statement few could argue with.
We were welcomed on the evening of the 14th of February with a tour of the castle and complimentary champagne to wander around with (topped up twice on the tour, naturally) followed by a formal reception in one of the many drawing rooms. From here we were lead to the Henry VIII Banqueting Hall. The place was as grand as it sounds and the waiters that were circling like buzzards were almost in a competition of who could dish out the most wine. I there discovered the basis of the phrase ‘flows like wine’.
So, after a while, out came the first course. It was a prawn and lobster stack with sesame prawn toast, topped with a herb garden salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. It simply delicious and really set the stage and wet our appetites for what would come next.
What came next was a surprise, only once before had I had a sorbet palate cleanser between courses. We were served up a small glass of rose petal sorbet that was neither too sweet or sour, but just enough of a flick to do what it said on the tin and cleanse our palets for the feature presentation that was starting to make its way out of the kitchens.
About an hour after we had been seated in the luxurious surroundings, out came the main course. It was a theme on the classic of meat and two veg. Lamb on a bed of dauphinoise potatoes with a pea pure, served with vine tomatoes and peas.
By this time we were pretty full of both top notch quality food and a seemingly endless helpings of wine. There was however one last course to go. You might have picked up on some of our other posts that I am not a desert person, but if there was anything that was going to challenge that, what was up next would come the closest.
This was a sharing course, how quaint for a valentines meal right? It was called an assiette of chocolate, which crudely boils down to lots of different mini chocolate deserts on a plate. It consisted of a dark chocolate tart, milk chocolate moose and the best of all, white chocolate ice cream in a crispy sweet pastry case. There was also a raspberry glaze which was an unexpected delight. It was all tremendously chocolaty and satisfying, however, I still have a vivid memory of the white chocolate ice cream to this very day and takes the crown as probably the best ice cream I have ever tasted.
Leeds Castle offer events similar to this throughout the year, but can be up to £200 per person depending on the occasion. Would I have paid £200 fo this particular evening? You know what, I think I might.