It is no secret that I am a Christmas fiend, whilst the rest of the world bemoans the early onset of season greetings, I would be assembling the tree in August if I were allowed. Beloved-yet-strict Husband Luke feels that a line has to be drawn ‘somewhere’. Scrooge.
You can therefore imagine my heart filling with Christmas joy upon being invited to sample the festive menu at the Grape and Olive Swansea, as part of a special bloggers event. Time to dig out the Christmas red lippy and don my star head bopper band.
For those unfamiliar with Swansea, the Grape and Olive is a stylish restaurant situated at the top of the Median Quay, the tallest building in Wales, standing at a grand 107m overlooking the marina, so you can be sure of lovely views across the city and the marina itself when dining at the Grape
We were greeted warmly by fellow blogger and events and marketing manger Ffion, who had organised the event and by new manager Gavin. Prosecco in hand we were invited to mingle with the other bloggers and press who were gathered, busy discussing all things blogging and of course food. It was lovely to put faces to twitter handles and finally meet some of the bloggers whose work I have followed and enjoyed for some time.
Ffion and Gavin explained that we would be sampling dishes from the new festive menu as well as from the Christmas Day menu, food would be brought out for us to photograph, ask questions about and most importantly, to taste.
We were treated to an array gorgeous dishes such as fig and goats cheese tart, smoked salmon, gruyere and spinach soufflé, beef wellington with goose fat roasted potatoes, deep fried camembert, sweet potato, squash and feta muffin and roast fillet of hake with a white wine and chive cream sauce and mash potato. All mains are served with vegetables that are cooked to perfection, including raised red cabbage, buttered sprouts and parsley buttered carrots. The flavours of the dishes certainly conjure up a christmassy feel and portion sizes are spot on.
The festive menu has a balanced and beautifully presented range of dishes and is extremely well priced at 3 courses for £25 or 2 for £20. The Christmas day menu is £60 for 4 courses and children can enjoy a 3 course Christmas feast for £30.
Next up was the moment I had been waiting for all evening, it was time for desserts and it was all I could do not to climb over the other bloggers shrieking ‘THE DESSERTS ARE HERE!!’ Abandoning all sense of restraint I made sure to tuck into warm, perfectly crafted chocolate and orange fondant with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, before moving swiftly one to fruity and zingy mulled wine poached pear and then mulled berry brulée with shortbread biscuits. It was all I could do not to lick the plate clean.
The event was one of the most organised and well thought out blogger events I have been to, with it’s own hashtag #christmasatthegrape a separate table of food dishes for photography, an itinerary and even a social media competition. It’s clear that the staff at the Grape are passionate not only about the food and their fabulous venue but also about valuing and developing local blogger relationships. We had a fantastic evening, not only was the food delicious but the warm and welcoming atmosphere of staff and all the bloggers present made for a very pleasant night, we would like to say a massive thank you to Ffion and Gavin, we can’t wait to return.