Last week we were invited to a very quirky and magical event hosted by TK Maxx at The Treehouse in Belfast. The invite was really intriguing with the hashtags #DuvetDining and #RidiculousPossibilities, along with the promise of a seven course dining experience created by Chef Gizzi Erskine, and we were hooked!
The concept behind the evening is the fact that TK Maxx offers a unique shopping experience every time you enter the store, encouraging you to explore other possibilities. And the evening did just that, through lush forts made from chic fabrics, and an incredible seven quirky courses to lead your taste buds on journey of exploration and delight.
The event took place on Thursday 9th June at 6.30pm. We arrived to the second floor of the outdoor venue and were greeted with a colourful backdrop of textiles that screamed summer evenings and a summer array of cocktails in giant Kilner drink dispensers. We met the lovely hosts and some other bloggers too, along with a few familiar faces as well.
Everyone was really intrigued to see what was hidden behind the back drop of chic fabrics and at last the moment had come for the team to reveal the surprise. Everyone actually gasped with delight and hurried to get their phones out to take a picture before anyone encroached on the scene, a true reflection of how beautiful everything looked. The team at TK Maxx had created a beautiful fort with a suspended fabric ceiling, laced with fairy lights and unique objects.
The floor was covered in layers of duvets and throw cushions, and there were four low tables, dressed and waiting for everyone to sit at. We all sat on the cushioned floor and looked in awe at the beautiful surroundings. The clever theme of #RidiculousPossibilities became so apparent inside the fort with every touch including chilled bottles of Prosecco hiding inside floral welly boots.
The meal, designed by TV chef and author Gizzi Erskine was an exploration in quirky, with magical ‘Alice in wonderland’ touches. We had a nosy at the menu while we were waiting and we really excited. It’s true that we eat with our eyes as when each course came out we couldn’t wait to get tucked in, the presentation was fabulous.
First Course: ‘Clear tomato consommé ‘tea’ with tiny vegetable stars and baby Thai basil’. This was so elegant and dainty and served individually in a ‘Tea-for-one’ pot. The flavour of tomato was incredible and the basil added a freshness. The tiny stars and baby basil leaves were so pretty as they swirled about in the consommé.
Second Course: ‘Goats mousse baby veg patch’. This was such a cute wee dish, mousse in the bottom with a black olive soil, raw baby vegetables and pickled cauliflower. Very tasty indeed.
Third Course: ‘Cherry and cherry blossom meat fruit with charred sourdough’. From reading the menu we weren’t sure what to expect with this course but when it arrived we knew what it was straight away, sourdough toast with a duck parfait shaped like a cherry, dipped in a cherry glaze and topped with a cherry stalk. So clever and extremely delicious. I love parfait as it is but the added creativity of the presentation made the experience even better.
Fourth and Fifth Courses: ‘Korean Fried Chicken’ and ‘Crispy Tuna Rice’. These two courses were delivered to the table at the same time on sharing platters, and oh my word did it start a feeding frenzy, well with Nial anyway. The crispy tuna rice was made up of deep fried rice patties with tuna on top and a little wasabi and chilli. They were delicious and seemed really fresh despite having a fried element. The Korean fried chicken was perhaps everyone’s favourite course of the evening; hot, sweet, deep fried, sticky, it ticked every box and we cant wait to try making this ourselves soon.
Sixth and Seventh Courses: ‘Egg crème brulee’ and ‘Golden beetroot and blood orange jellies’. The creme brulee was really clever as it was served inside a real egg shell which was siting in an egg cup. The custard itself was beautifully creamy and it had a lovely thin signature crispy caramel layer. The jellies were an exercise in trickery with the red jelly tasting of orange and the orange jelly tasting of beetroot.
The whole meal was delicious with every course having something to amaze everyone. The entire evening was a topic of discussion and we left having gained so much inspiration and even more love for TK Maxx. The evening really did bring us back to our childhood by conjuring memories of making fortresses out of bed linen and sitting on the floor to eat at the coffee table on treat night.
It was also a fabulous evening of fun and laughter with a few selfies and some props for fun. We had a lovely bunch of guys at our table; Ruth from Willow Lane Blog, Ian from Rogues and Brogues, and Donna from My Sister’s Closet.