The QEII Centre presented a series of masterclasses last week to give our guests a little ray of sunshine during this cold winter. The day was filled with various activities including learning how to arrange flowers like an expert, cooking the perfect beef wellington and preparing some tasty finger sandwiches for afternoon tea. If you missed out on the Masterclass sessions, here is a brief overview and some interesting tips;
Flower Power was hosted by florist experts Lavender Green. They demonstrated how to arrange mix flowers in a glass cube vase. All of our guests were given flowers and accessories to build and craft their own masterpiece to take home.
- Make sure all the stems are cut to the same length and slanted so the flowers get the most amount of water. This will prolong their freshness and extend their life.
- Use the bigger flowers last, start with your foliage
- Make sure you take off the damaged petals/leaf’s for a nicer look
- Mix textures and colours to create an interesting arrangement
Kitchen confidential was led by QEII Head Chef Jean-Michel Viala. He showed everyone, step by step, how to cook the perfect beef wellington as well as providing some insightful cooking tips. Guests were given the whole wine and dine experience to enjoy the beef wellington and end a wonderful afternoon.
- Defrost the beef 24 hours before you start cooking
- Use pancakes to wrap around the beef as it will soak up some of the beef juices and stop the pastry from becoming soggy.
- Spread chicken mousse on the pancakes as it will hold it together
- Serving wine will add to the taste and your dining experience
Sweet Nothings was also led by QEII Head Chef Jean-Michel Viala, who showed our guests how to make four different types of tea sandwiches. The sandwich ingredients included chicken breasts & mayo, cucumber with French mustard & cumin seeds, salmon & herb cream and egg & cress. After the tutorial, our guests were invited to relax and enjoy the rest of the afternoon with some tasty sandwiches and other treats.
- Use a large cut-out piece of cardboard to place over the bread to cut around the crust
- Make another cut-out in the shape of a rectangle and place it over the bread to cut even shaped finger sandwiches
- Spread French mustard as an alternative for mayonnaise
Making Pour Decisions was hosted by wine expert Duncan from Bibendum and Neil from QEII Taste, who presented some very intriguing and unusual wine & cheese combinations throughout the masterclass. Our guests given five different wine and cheese pairings and arguably the most surprising combination was Cornish brie. Whilst perhaps not to everyone’s taste, the melon flavours in the sake neatly complemented the brie and went very well with Stilton!
No top tips from this session but it was evident that our guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves and tried combinations that they may never have considered before. So much so, our 60 guests decided to stay on to indulge and enjoy another glass of their favourite wine of the night with us, which was a lovely end to a busy day!