Royal Ascot 2014 – Restaurant & Catering Preview

Posted on Friday, 21st February 2014

Royal Ascot 2014 will span the dates of 17 and 21 June, and as with every year, Royal Ascot 2014 promises to be something special. Last weekend I had the good fortune of being invited to a press event at Ascot Racecourse to experience a spectacular tasting menu designed to provide an insight into the cuisine that will be served throughout these five magical days.

Ascot Racecourse offers a number of fine dining options and this year two Michelin starred chefs will be cooking at Royal Ascot to present their Michelin starred food. Atul Kochhar from the one-Michelin starred Benares will be on hand to serve his modern take on Indian cooking at the Panoramic Restaurant, which as the name suggests offers unrivalled ‘panoramic’ views of the racecourse. Also cooking is the two-Michelin starred Tom Kerridge from The Hand and Flowers who will treat guests to his smart British classics in the soon to be opened On Five Restaurant overlooking the final furlong. But the premier dining venue at Royal Ascot is without doubt The Parade Ring Restaurant. Located adjacent to the Royal Box, it is here that Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal party comes to dine. Guests who savour the food at The Parade Ring Restaurant are presented with canapés on arrival followed by a five course à la carte menu and a full afternoon tea from Ascot’s Executive Chef Steve Golding.

Royal Ascot 2014 - Salmon

Salmon

Our day at The Panoramic Restaurant started with some gorgeous canapés from Rhubarb, the caterers which will oversee the private box hospitality packages during the five days of Royal Ascot. Here we were treated to salmon mi cuit – beautifully fatty salmon with a yuzu dressing, some rich and decadent foie gras rocher – foie gras parfait coated with hazelnuts, and some fresh and sunny Cornish crab. Also delicious were the garden pea panncotta with its beautifully creamy texture and a superbly tasty duck with mooli. To wash down these delicious treats was a glass (or two or three) of Bollinger champagne.

Royal Ascot 2014 - Foie gras rocher

Foie gras rocher

Royal Ascot 2014 - Pea pannacotta

Pea pannacotta

The canapés were followed by a three-course sit down lunch. The starter by Atul Kochhar was a pan-fried sea bass with a beet mash and a turmeric coconut sauce. The fish was beautiful and moist with a skin that had been beautifully crisped. The beet mash provided an interesting tang to the dish and we found the coconut sauce to be wonderfully creamy if a little rich.

Royal Ascot 2014 - Sea bass by Atul Kochhar

Sea bass by Atul Kochhar

The main course by Tom Kerridge was glorious. The treacle cured fillet steak was pink and soft and lusciously tasty, and came with some red wine jus which was truly magical. Chef Kerridge’s signature triple-cooked Hand and Flowers chips were super crunchy and rounded off this delicious plate of food. A well battered onion ring had been perched on top.

Royal Ascot 2014 - Beef by Tom Kerridge

Beef by Tom Kerridge

Ascot’s Executive Chef Steve Golding prepared the dessert called ‘After Eight’ with mint and chocolate variations, a peppermint sorbet and a chocolate and mint gel. I love peppermint as a tea but less so in desserts. However to my surprise this dessert proved to be a resounding success. The use of peppermint in the sorbet was extremely well judged, and it cut the richness of the chocolate slices nicely. It was a beautiful plate and superbly executed.

Royal Ascot 2014 - Dessert by Steve Golding

Dessert by Steve Golding

Lunch was rounded off by some yummy chocolates from Lenôtre, a French culinary powerhouse with 39 restaurants across 11 countries. Lenôtre will cover the catering in the double decker marquee, and impressively will be bringing all the ingredients from France on a daily basis during the 5 days of Royal Ascot.

As much as I enjoyed the canapés and the lunch, I must say that I also reveled in the Mad Hatters afternoon tea that came after lunch (yes more food) provided by Smart Group. We honed in on the homely scones with their lavish topping of clotted cream and sweet jam. But we also tucked into an amazing array of sweet treats including some amazing cupcakes (the best!), a variety of macarons, some light and airy meringues and velvety chocolate mousses but to name a few. The Smart Group will be looking after diners at The Royal Ascot Village, and in addition to their delightful afternoon teas they will also be serving up four course lunches.

Royal Ascot 2014 - The delightful afternoon tea

The delightful afternoon tea

Royal Ascot 2014 - The homely scones

The homely scones

Royal Ascot 2014 - The amazing cupcakes

The amazing cupcakes

What a fantastic day at Ascot! Not only did we have a fabulous day of eating but also some excitement was to be had having a flutter on the races. The staff really looked after us, and without a doubt the people at Ascot really know how to do hospitality extremely well.


Prices:

I’ve listed the prices for the five days of Royal Ascot 2014. Note that prices will be different on other race days. Also check with http://www.ascot.co.uk/ for detailed specifics.

The Parade Ring with Steve Golding (and Her Majesty The Queen)

Champagne reception, four course lunch, afternoon tea and open bar including champagne – prices from £1,200 per person + VAT.

The Panoramic Restaurant with Atul Kochhar

Champagne reception, four course lunch, afternoon tea and open bar including champagne – prices from £995 per person + VAT.

On Five with Tom Kerridge

Champagne reception, five course lunch, afternoon tea and open bar including champagne – prices start from £800 per person + VAT.

Private box packages

Champagne reception, four course lunch, afternoon tea and open bar including champagne – prices start from £609 per person + VAT.

Double decker marquee by Lenôtre
Drinks reception, lunch, afternoon tea and select complimentary drinks at one of the three double decker marquee venues – prices start from £330 per person + VAT.

The Royal Ascot Village by The Smart Group

Pimms reception, four course lunch, afternoon tea and select complimentary drinks – prices start from £299 per person + VAT.

Website: http://www.ascot.co.uk/

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