On Friday night we were invited along to a gourmet evening at The Stormont Hotel in Belfast to celebrate 50 years of The Hastings Hotel ownership of the hotel. The hotel has grown from a 10 room venue in 1966 to a fantastic, modern 105 room hotel with a range of standard and executive rooms, and a number of suites, overlooking the stunning gardens of Stormont Castle and Estate.
This was our first time at The Stormont Hotel and as each dish from the gourmet menu included a paired wine to complement it (supplied by Woodford Bourne Wines), we decided to stay the night and enjoy The Stormont that little bit more. It’s fair to say we were more than impressed with everything on offer!
Stormont Gourmet Dinner Menu
We arrived to the hotel at around 6.30pm and this left us just enough time to get checked into our room and get ready for the meal before grabbing a quick drink at the bar – the newly refurbished bar that was just finished about 30 minutes before our arrival. This further highlighted the ongoing work at The Stormont as The Hastings Group continue to invest in bettering the hotel in the competitive Belfast hotel scene.
Prosecco and Canapés
Before the meal began we went down to the La Scala Bistro and Confex Centre to enjoy a wide range of well prepared canapés and some enjoyable glasses of Prosecco. The Prosecco was a Conti d’ Prosecco from Italy and among the canapés were pulled pork balls (which were amazing), beetroot macaroons with salmon mousse and sweet potato purée in waffle cones. This was a good chance to get chatting to some of the other guests in attendance and get a real feel for the night that lay ahead of us. From this reception we could tell we were in for a great night of food, wine, company and all round entertainment.
A Meal Through The Years
As we made our way to the banquet room for the meal, we were informed that the menu would be a tasting experience to match the 50 years of The Stormont, going back to the fabulous fifties right through to the naughty nineties. This had us more than intrigued, and we couldn’t wait to see what the chef had prepared for the evening.
First Course – The Fabulous Fifties
First up was a step back in time (a big step for us) as we enjoyed a selection of starters that would have been synonymous with many menus in the 1950s. The first course was an assiette of starters which included prawn cocktail, paté with redcurrant jelly and melon with prosciutto. As you can see from the photo below, it wasn’t served as you would normally expect to see a typical prawn cocktail, paté or a melon starter served. The presentation was beautiful and the flavour was amazing and it was a great way to start the evening’s meal. The dish was paired with a Vanidade Albarino 2012 White Wine from Spain which was perfect.
Next Up – The Swinging Sixties
Following on from the trio of starters was the second course of the evening, and another step back in time to the swinging sixties with the popular duck à l’orange, a dish we’ve created in the past (view recipe here). Again, this was a twist on a classic dish with the duck served with candied orange peel and a crackling which added great texture to complement the dish. The dish was paired with a Moreau Pinot Noir 2014 Red Wine from France.
Time For The Sexy Seventies
Okay, so we’re not so sure about the ‘sexy seventies’ but this pallet cleansing course gave a whole new meaning to the trifle experience. This dish was a trifle sorbet, complete with a custard base, popping candy and an edible candied shot glass that was both charming and refreshing and certainly one of the highlights of the meal. This sorbet dish was made with Duc de Castellac, Monbazillac 2009 White Wine.
Main Course – Surf & Turf With The Electric Eighties
Next up was the main event of the evening, and what a dish – salt aged beef fillet with prawns – a real throwback to the popular surf and turf craze of the eighties. The beef was cooked to absolute perfection with everyone at the table getting it cooked medium rare, coated with sesame seeds and topped with some grilled prawns. Complemented with a rich jus, some creamy mash, broad beans pickled vegetables and an asparagus fritter, this was the standout dish of the evening with clean plates all round.
In our opinion, beef should always be enjoyed with a nice glass of red wine and the Deakin Estate Shiraz 2015 (Australia) that was paired with this dish was on the money. Another impressive dish from the team at The Stormont.
Dessert Time – The Naughty Nineties
The final dish of the night was another classic, this time a 90s classic, a lemon meringue tartlet. Regulars to the blog will know we’re big dessert fans and lemon meringue is up there among our favourites and this dish was one of the best lemon meringue’s we’ve had the pleasure of enjoying. With mini meringues, a berry compote and a shortbread crumb to complement the dish, it was a great way to end to this gourmet dinner through the years.
The dessert wine, Nectaria Botrytis Riesling 2009 from Chile accompanied the dessert and proved a hit for many diners.
Time To Relax With Port And Cheese
After dessert we retired to the new bar for some port (Churchills Reserve Port NV) and a selection of cheese and chutneys. We sampled some Bellingham Blue, Knockanore Smoked and St Tola Ash Rind Goat’s Cheese on oat cakes. We finished off the evening with Thompson’s Finest Tea and Bewley’s Resort Blend Coffee. All in all, a great end to what was an exceptional evening of food and wine.
Have you dined or stayed at the Stormont Hotel?
This was our first experience of The Stormont Hotel both for food and overnight accommodation and we were more than impressed. Located about 10 minutes from Belfast City Centre and near to Holywood Golf Course (there were a lot of golfers floating around the hotel), it’s a great base if you want to stay outside the busy centre of Belfast City.
We spent the following morning strolling around the grounds of Stormont Estate, home of Northern Ireland’s Parliament Buildings. This was actually our first time walking around the grounds of Stormont, and the panoramic views of Belfast make it a destination well worth getting to.