- Here at The Big Phill we don’t see why the children should have all the fun, so here’s a quick guide to all the events for adults this Halloween!
Are you looking for events for children? Then, please click below!
Are you looking for events for children? Then, please click below!
Like most of us, I love food. So, when I first heard that three MasterChef contestants were holding a fine dining experience at Wales’ largest castle, I was instantly intrigued and determined to find out more about this event and the exciting new catering business – SALT Kitchen.
SALT Kitchen is run by three food loving chefs called Stephen, Alex and Thomas, who recently met on BBC1’s MasterChef. With a strong desire to cook top restaurant quality food (using the abundance of rich, local ingredients available in our beautiful part of the world), these three chefs are looking forward to hosting an arrange of exciting dining events around the UK; starting with the beautiful Caerphilly Castle.
It was therefore with great excitement that I headed over to this much anticipated event last week.
The pop-up fine dining evening was organised in The Great Hall of Caerphilly Castle, which had been beautifully arranged for the evening. We were greeted with a glass of prosecco and were directed expertly to our table. Here we had the opportunity to meet with our friends and some fellow foodies before we all headed up to try some of the scrumptious canapes on offer. It was here that I started to relax. I had been a little worried that with such great cuisine on offer that this might be a stuffy affair, however I was delighted to see that this was going to be a fun evening as well.
Shortly before the food began to arrive, the friendly and efficient waiting staff filled our glasses with the appropriate glass of wine to accompany our first course of fillet of hake on pearl barley risotto Nero and herb emulsion. I was a little bit nervous about this dish. I had eaten pearl barley risotto before and as I didn’t overly enjoy it, I was unsure what to expect. However, as soon as I tasted a mouthful of the delicious hake with the risotto, I was a complete convert; it was absolutely delicious. The fish had been seasoned perfectly and the pearl barley nero (squid ink) risotto was exquisite. The hardest part here was not to look too greedy and eat it all too quickly, particularly as there was a glass of beautiful dry white wine to enjoy alongside it. This was definitely one of my favourite dishes of the evening.
After the first course, as everyone relaxed we had the opportunity to talk a little more to the other guests on our table. Like us, they loved food and lived locally. They had also eaten in many great restaurants so I was interested in hearing their views on the food. They were also bowled over by the first course and we all agreed how wonderful it would be to see more events like this in Caerphilly.
Therefore, it was with high expectations, that we all looked on as the waiting staff brought over our second course with the accompanying red wine. This dish looked simply beautiful. There was the panko hen yolk (which ran out perfectly when cut into), the delicious fondant potato, the succulent pan-seared duck breast and the tasty surprise of a filo parcel of crispy duck. This meal was delectable and was my husband’s firm favourite.
There was a little gap in service between the second and third course, which was perfect to help our first two courses settle. We ordered a bottle of prosecco and I was surprised (and very happy) to discover that it was only £18. With many venues of this stature using events like this to place a ‘mark up’ on alcohol, it was great to see that this was not the case here.
We then quickly moved on to the third course. Although this was the smallest dish of the evening, I have to say that I absolutely loved it. The rhubarb sorbet with the ginger crumb just took me back to my favourite childhood desert. Matched with a beautiful rhubarb flavoured sweet wine this was delicious but still light enough not to ruin our fourth and final dish that evening; a cocoa bean bombe filled with chocolate mouse and a raspberry core.
When I think back to this course, the only word that comes to mind is ‘Wow!’. Created by Alex (who I later found out was aptly named the Queen of Puddings), every spoonful of this desert was perfect. The crunch of the chocolate, the texture of the mousse, the sharpness of the raspberry… I could wax lyrical about this desert for eternity. The flavours were also enhanced by the sweet, red wine (to my surprise as I always thought I hated desert wines) that was paired with the course.
The evening ended with a fun question and answer session with the three chefs, where it was clear how passionate they were about food and cooking. It was also exciting to find out that I had eaten food prepared by experts, who had not only cooked for some of Britain’s best chefs but pop stars too. I was feeling rather spoiled.
As the evening drew to a close, I had the opportunity of meeting and talking to all three chefs. This had been their first pop-up kitchen and they (quite rightly) were very satisfied with how it had turned out. They have many events planned but are hoping to return to Caerphilly Castle in the future. Stephen Ford, who lives in Caerphilly and does a lot of local charity work (including headlining the infamous Megaday in August), commenting on how much he loved the experience of cooking in such an iconic building and how he longed to bring more fine dining experience to the area.
To find out more about SALT Kitchen and their future events, please head here to follow their page online.
Disclosure: We received a 35% discount to in exchange for the review and the promotion. However, our friends (who are amazing amateur chefs themselves), who paid full price said they felt that the experience was definitely worth the full amount.
Please note that whilst I did not personally try the vegetarian and vegan options, I spoke to another guest later on in the evening, who was incredibly impressed with the food and said that the creamed asparagus risotto was one of her all time favourite meals.
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If you’re looking for events this Easter, please check our the range of events below happening within the Caerphilly County Borough Council. Please also find a link to our guide to free events and free places to visit this Easter at the bottom of this post.
Easter Egg Hunt with Henrock Rocks on 28th April between 10-2pm. At Penallta House.
A pampering LOL Doll Session: https://m.facebook.com/events/281428179472153?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%223%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D&aref=3&ref=content_filter
Children golf camps at Bryn Meadows: https://www.brynmeadows.co.uk/meetings-and-events/2019/04/15/childrens-golf-camps/
Easter Egg Hunt at New Tredegar: https://www.familiesonline.co.uk/local/wye-valley-and-vale-of-usk/whats-on/cadbury-easter-egg-hunt-at-tredegar-house-168292
Breakfast with the Easter Bunny, a Dino Easter Dash and a Princess Pyjama Party at Bedwellty House: https://www.bedwelltyhouseandpark.co.uk/what-s-on
The school holidays can be an expensive time. So here’s a guide including free events and free places to visit this Easter!
Free Places to Visit
Caerphilly Library – Various events are running at the library this Easter. There is also a free picture Easter Egg hunt (no eggs at the end of the trial but at least you don’t have to pay for it) to keep the children busy for a few minutes. They also have lego, duplo and megablocks to play with as well as other games, a Wii and free colouring sheets too!
Ystrad Mynach Charity Spring Fair – This fun charity event is free to attend although rides etc though will need to be paid for.
Free Animal Display
Story Time and Activity Sessions- local libraries around the borough are running various story time sessions.. They also usually have either some games, some lego or some colouring sheets too. Why not head along to your local library?
Valentine’s Day is celebrated all around the world, but here in Wales we celebrate love on the 25th January with our very own patron saint of lovers – St Dwynwen.
But, how did this 5th century princess become a symbol of love and hope for so many? Why have so many young lovers pilgrimaged to west Wales to seek answers? Why is a well so important? Look below for the top five things you need to know about one of Wales’ most popular saints!
So, although Dwynwen’s own life in love may not have been a happy one, her selfless wish for love for others is why she deserves to be our partron saint of love.
Happy Dwynwen’s Day!!
Dydd Santes Dwynwen Hapus!!
Information taken from Historic UK, Visit Wales and Santes Cariadon Cymru, by Siân Lewis .
This February half term there are lots of fun events going on around the Caerphilly County Borough. Whether you’re looking for theatre, sporty or arts and craft fun, please look below for something to sort your little ones.
There are so many fantastic things happening in Caerphilly this Christmas and New Year. Please take a look at our guides below to help you enjoy the festivities in this beautiful county. We will update them regularly so keep posted!
There are so many wonderful events happening this Christmas. Please look here to find out all the wonderful events going on. From ice skating and reindeer making to festive markets and Santa races, there really is something for everyone in Caerphilly this Christmas!
Looking for something fun to do for New Year’s Eve? Then, why not check out our guide below!