Christmas comes early to Keele Hall
The traditional turkey dinner remains the firm favourite for most our guests, but we’re always looking to ways to add a twist to make our dinner a bit different and extra special.
With summer barbeques set to keep sizzling over the bank holiday weekend, one Staffordshire venue is bucking the trend, turning its attention instead to turkeys, tinsel and trees.
Christmas has come early at Keele University with festive preparations getting into full swing this week in expectation of the annual 5000 guests who descend on the campus for Christmas parties and events.
The Conferences and Events team based at the 19th Century Keele Hall are expecting a delivery of a staggering 403ft of Christmas garlands, which if laid out from end to end would loom 100ft over Big Ben and nearly reach the top of the London Eye. Other early Christmas presents expected to arrive at the many venues across the rural campus include 24 Christmas trees, 108 Christmas wreaths and 2,000 baubles and 5,000 festive crackers.
Meanwhile, the seven strong kitchen team at Keele Hall have been in the Christmas spirit since spring. Peter Walters, Executive Chef, has been merrily taste testing since February. As one of the largest venues in Staffordshire, Peter will have thousands of mouths to feed with no less than four Christmas menus served over the festive season from lunches in the exclusive Terrace restaurant, to festive afternoon tea, contemporary cocktail parties and four and five course traditional feasts for up to 500 guests.
Over the coming months Peter will be stocking the pantry in preparation to serve around 3,500 traditional turkey dinners, 1,200 canon of beef, 5,000 mince pies, 2,000 Christmas puddings with 2,000 litres of brandy sauce.
Peter explains: “I start preparing the Christmas menus in February as the festive season is still fairly fresh in my mind and I can reflect on the foods that worked particularly well and what we want to change. Of course, the traditional turkey dinner remains the firm favourite for most our guests, but we’re always looking to ways to add a twist to make our dinner a bit different and extra special. We meet with suppliers to talk about the season all year round and after 13 years working at Keele, I have got my Christmas palette down to a tee.”
Sam Booth, Head of Keele University Conferences and Events, adds: “Christmas is a magical time of year for us at Keele as we welcome thousands of guests onto campus, from people staying overnight in our accommodation for work Christmas parties or private event and those simply visiting for the day for lunch, afternoon tea or our annual Christmas market. So even though the summer sun is still in force, we’re starting to think about log fires and delicious turkey dinners.
“There’s rarely a month of the year that goes by without us thinking about the festive season, but these last two weeks of August are the ideal time for us to get our Christmas decorations sorted and clean down the Christmas china before autumn gets underway.”
For more information Christmas at Keele call 01782 732020 or visit www.keele-conference.com