It’s over for another year, we can hardly believe it! From Thursday 8th – Sunday 11th August 2013, McBaile Exclusive set up camp at the beautiful Ashton Court Estate in Bristol and provided our very best catering and event management services to members and guests of the 100 club at the 35th Bristol International Balloon Fiesta.
For the 4th year running we had the pleasure of working alongside Richmond Event Management and the lovely members of the 100 club organising committee to provide hospitality catering to hundreds of guests over the 4 days. We arrived on-site on Wednesday morning with van loads of kit and began the huge logistical feat of making a kitchen within a bare marquee in the middle of a field. That was all done by lunch time and then we tested the fairground rides before the general public were granted access … if only! We spent the day unloading enough linen, crockery, glassware, kitchen equipment, staff, furniture, and of course food, to cater for the special hospitality events, a tapas bar, café and even a garden fish and chip stall (a new addition this year that went down a storm)!
By midday on the Thursday afternoon, the gates were officially opened and we were ready to welcome our first guests. A highlight of our weekend was the Thursday evening VIP Champagne reception for 350 guests as we were lucky enough to win the sponsorship of the opening night glow. As guests arrived they were greeted with a glass of fizz, complete with hibiscus flower, from our black and white flute display. They soon filled the giant marquee and spent the evening flitting between our various showcases. The choice included an exciting food demonstration that even featured ‘spherification’ (points to those who know what that is!), a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ shot bar and a vast array of locally sourced canapés, bowl food and mini desserts as below:
Somerset pork rillettes with apple and tarragon chutney, cider dough croute
Smoked trout and horseradish mousse filo cups with roasted red pepper
Balsamic roasted baby beetroot & ewe’s cheese galettes (v)
Chesterton’s sausage and puy lentil casserole with spring onion mash
Braised Gatcombe farm beef in ‘Bristol beer factory’ gold ale with duck fat roast potatoes and honeyed carrots
Locally sourced yellow & green courgette risotto with Winford wild garlic pesto and a parmesan crisp (v)
Guilbert’s chocolate mousse layered with salted caramel & topped with honeycomb crumble
Harvey’s Bristol cream trifle with orange segments
The lights had only been out in the marquee a matter of hours and we were back in, bright eyed and ready to welcome 150 guests to the business breakfast. A fantastic opportunity for networking but also to witness the mass ascent of balloons in to the cool morning sky, a sight that takes your breath away, or perhaps that’s just the 5am start! Dry cured bacon, egg and chutney ciabatta rolls with unlimited tea and coffee kept spirits high and it was a successful start to day 2. Friday also played host to the Red Arrows display team and we embraced the occasion with a themed afternoon tea, the red and white Battenberg was a popular choice after watching the pilots perform daredevil twists and turns, including stunts called The Detonator and Vortex. It was an added bonus when they survived and popped in for a cuppa after their death defying display.
Over the remainder of the weekend we entertained corporate guests and families alike with private seated lunches and a luxury garden fish and chip stall where guests could purchase tempura battered vegetables or saffron spiced battered hake with twice cooked Maris piper chips and a selection of homemade condiments. Our café was also popular and customers delved in to the tasty Tapas for a lighter lunch in the sunshine, roasted king prawns with orange & fennel married well with a pate of Goat’s cheese, beetroot and rocket to prove themselves as firm favourites. By the last afternoon tea on Sunday we were content with how the event had gone and got a fresh team in to organise the breakdown at the end of the evening, we tidied and cleaned our catering area to leave it looking as if we were never there in the first place. The Bristol International Balloon Fiesta was behind us for another year and we are already planning the improvements for the next.
Watch this space for a link to our jazzy new promotional video that showcases the versatility and quality of food and services that we can provide, every event is a pleasure to be a part of and no matter how well they go we always strive to improve ready for the next.
For any help with your corporate catering and hospitality needs, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 01179 555 271.