Cheshire Life luncheon - St Georges Hotel, Llandudno
PUBLISHED: 17:05 02 June 2011 | UPDATED: 12:02 28 February 2013
Sophisticated cuisine at this Llandudno seaside hotel delighted discerning diners at a Cheshire Life luncheon WORDS BY RAY KING PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN COCKS
Legend has it that when Viking raiders were plundering the coast of north Wales more than 1,000 years ago, two enormous sea serpents loomed out of the mist and, in panic, the long ships fled.
The berserkers had, in fact, been spooked by the outline of Great and Little Orme, the spectacular headlands sheltering Llandudnos glorious sweep of sandy bay. The story is commemorated in a beautiful modern stained glass work by local artist Paul Jones, depicting Brenhines the queen proudly exhibited at the entrance to the new Menai Suite at St Georges Hotel on the grand Victorian promenade.
The stylish, contemporary 750,000 function and event facility, boasting its own dedicated al fresco terrace, provides ample evidence that St Georges the first hotel to be built in whats come to be regarded, deservedly, as the Queen of Welsh Resorts has continued to evolve throughout a distinguished 157 year history.
The four star hotel, among the top three per cent of all hotels in Wales and awarded the prestigious Gold Award by Visit Wales for the second year running, provided a magnificent venue for North Wales Lifes June luncheon. Guests, including Llandudnos Mayor, Councillor Mrs Anne Yates and her Consort, Mr Neville Yates, followed in the illustrious footsteps of eight Prime Ministers since Benjamin Disraeli in the mid-19th Century across St Georges threshold.
The Menai Suite looked a picture as we were greeted by the hotels director and general manager Tony Burns, with tables graced with elegant floral displays by Luna Flower of Rhos-on-Sea and Sian Llewellyn provided lilting Welsh harp music over welcoming flutes of Fantinel Extra Dry Prosecco and dainty canaps featuring slivers of duck, creamed goats cheese, sushi-style smoked salmon and gravadlax.
Steven Roberts, formerly of the highly regarded Lion Quays Hotel and Spa near Oswestry in Shropshire, has been at the helm as Head Chef at St Georges for 18 months and has stamped his personal style on menus majoring in the skilled use of splendid seasonal ingredients, mostly produced locally.
His starter course of generously proportioned, silky smooth artichoke and white bean velout dotted with flavourful local mussels, spiked with tangy samphire and topped with grilled creamy-textured Selonda Anglesey sea bass was a perfect springtime dish.
A choice of wines were offered to accompany: a fresh, tropical fruit-driven unoaked chardonnay from Berri Estates in South Australia and an uber-fashionable, light and crisp blush pink pinot grigio from Italys north east.
The main course was a joy looking wonderful on the plate yet just begging to be eaten rather than admired too long as a work of culinary art. Steven served Guinea fowl three ways the breast sliced thick and moist, a perfectly roasted drumstick and in a sausage with puy lentils with a sliver of crisp pancetta, fondant potato and delightful baby spring vegetables including fennel, leek and sweet chantenay carrots on an excellent tarragon cream sauce.
Yes, there was a lot on the plate but nothing was out of place and the often difficult skill of serving Guinea fowl at its flavoursome best was accomplished with aplomb. The accompanying red Cotes du Rhone offered bags of lively berry fruit with a lovely spicy finish.
Dessert, a dreamy partnership of expertly crafted gateau of pistachio and lemon posset, refreshing rhubarb sorbet and candied ginger, maintained admirably high standards and the Welsh cakes and bara brith accompanying coffee provided a charming finale.
North Wales Life Luncheon Menu
Artichoke and white bean velout with local mussels and grilled selonda Anglesey seabass
Spiced polenta with sweet potato, coconut milk and coriander
Berri Estates unoaked Chardonnay, South Australia
Pinot Grigio Rosato del Veneto, Italy
Collection of guinea fowl on Spring vegetables, crisp pancetta, tarragon cream
Cotes du Rhone Gentilhomme, Ogier et Fils, France
Gateau of pistachios and lemon posset, candied ginger, rhubarb sorbet
Coffee with Tu Hwnt ir Bont Welsh cakes and bara brith
St Georges Hotel, The Promenade, Llandudno, Conwy, North Wales,
LL30 2LG. Tel: 01492 877544; www.stgeorgeswales.co.uk
The Terrace Bar and Lounge serves light lunches daily. The AA Rosette Terrace Restaurant is open for dinner Mon-Sat 6.30pm-9-30pm: two courses from the a la carte menu 26, three courses 34: Sunday Lunch in the Terrace Restaurant, noon-2.30pm, is 17 for two courses and 20 for three.