Sunday, May 1, 2016

Good Morning Sunshine...

Happy May Day! Here are some lovely shots of the dawn breaking as seen from the balcony of the bridal suite...


The sun's rays cascading through the early morning Waikato mist on a cool Autumn day...

The crisp blue sky...

with Swallows darting about, and the Nymphaeum in the background...



Thursday, April 28, 2016

Kerr and Ladbroke Catering...

Willowbrook Park is excited to announce a new partnership with Kerr & Ladbrook, winner of the NZ Wedding Industry's Outstanding Caterer award 2016.

Photo by Christel Yardley

Their reputation for excellence, freshness of ingredients, and the highest quality service is why they took out the country's top title, and makes them a natural pairing for Willowbrook Park.

Here is a taster of their menu options for Willowbrook Park...

Wedding Reception - Plated Option 1
-----Canapés-----
Sweet Corn Fritters
Corn & spring onion fritters w steamed prawns & a mango & avocado salsa

Mushroom Risotto Ball
Truffle oiled mushroom & parmesan risotto balls w pesto aioli

Pork Belly
Slow braised pork belly skewers & toasted peanut jungle salt


-----Breads on Table-----
A selection of warm dinner rolls served with flavoured butter



-----Plated Main Course-----
(Alternately served to guests)

Prime Beef Eye Fillet
Prime Beef Eye fillet w a mushroom & tarragon butter crust, potato Dauphinoise & merlot jus.

Chicken Roulade
Chicken & bacon wrapped roulade w a red kumara rosti & creamy mushroom puree

--Each main is complimented by a selection of fresh vegetables--

-----Centre Salad & Greens-----
Tossed Green Salad
Freshly picked baby spinach leaves, mesculin mixed salad greens, tiny cherry tomatoes and sweet red onions, lightly tossed with balsamic and virgin olive oil dressing

-----Dessert Canapés-----
(on table dessert stands or tray service if mix n mingle time)



Lemoncello, lemon curd & gingernut cheesecake bites
&
Chocolate cups filled with silky chocolate mousse

Platters of family supplied “Wedding cake” with
freshly brewed Willowbrook tea & coffee


Wedding Reception - Plated Option 2
-----Canapés-----
Lamb Bites
Dukkah & Dijon lamb bites w Lebanese yoghurt dip

Mushroom Risotto Balls
Truffle oiled mushroom & parmesan risotto balls w pesto aioli

Chicken Bruschetta
Smoked chicken, olive & semi dried tomato on olive oil brushed bruschetta

-----Set Entrée-----
Summer tomato bruschetta
Ciabatta Bruschetta w slow roasted & fresh tomatoes, beetroot puree, feta whip 
& balsamic olive oil drizzle.

-----Plated Mains-----
(Alternately served to guests)
NZ Lamb Fillet
Tender NZ Lamb fillet wrapped in prosciutto w pressed lamb shoulder, potato fondant, minted cremoulata & balsamic jus.

South Island Salmon
South Island Salmon marinated in Chermoula w a Cannellini & haricot bean mash, roasted tomato chutney & micro salad.

--Each main is complimented by a selection of fresh vegetables--

-----Centre Salad & Greens-----
Tossed Green Salad
Baby spinach & mixed salad greens, tiny cherry tomatoes, sweet red onions, 
balsamic & virgin olive oil dressing

-----Petit Four Dessert Platters-----
Dark chocolate & raspberry torte bites
Mango, lime & vanilla Italian meringue tarts
Baby spiced apple pies w mascarpone & rock sugar pastry crisp

 Platters of family supplied “Wedding cake” with
freshly brewed Willowbrook tea & coffee


Wedding Reception - Plated Option3
-----Canapés-----
Fresh Tuna
Fresh Tuna seared w sesame seeds on a salt crisp & a toasted nori mayonnaise

Chicken & Bacon Pate
Chicken & bacon pate on New York peppered crostini & red currant jelly

Pork Belly
Succulent slices of pork belly on crispy crouton & pear & fig chutney

Scallops
Pacific Rim scallops w a vanilla, cauliflower puree & crispy shallots 

-----Palate Cleanser-----
Fresh pineapple, honey dew melon & mint shot

-----Entrées-----
(Alternately served to guests)

Cold smoked Salmon
Cold smoked salmon w prosciutto, floral tea jelly, courgette ribbons & crispy capers

NZ Lamb Tenderloin
NZ Lamb tenderloin w exotic mushroom marinated w salsa Verde & a chervil Dijon vinaigrette

-----Plated Main course-----
(Alternately served to guests)

18 Hour Slow Roasted Scotch Fillet
18 hour Beef scotch fillet served medium rear w parmesan polenta chips, a green peppercorn Béarnaise sauce & hydro watercress

Fresh Market Fish
Fresh Market Fish w crushed lemon & herb potatoes, seasonal greens, tomato & olive cheek concasse & saffron Beurre blanc

--Each main is complimented by a selection of fresh vegetables--

-----Centre Salad & Greens-----
Tossed Green Salad
Baby spinach leaves, mesculin greens, tiny cherry tomatoes and sweet red onions, 
lightly tossed with balsamic and virgin olive oil dressing

-----Dessert-----
Chocolate Decadence
Decadent dark chocolate torte w forest berries & vanilla crème fraiche



Platters of family supplied “Wedding cake” with
freshly brewed Willowbrook tea & coffee  

Wedding Reception - Buffet Option 1
-----Canapés-----
Baby tartlets
Roast red pepper, caramelized onion & feta tartlet

Lamb Palmiers
Sweet onion puff pastry Palmier w NZ lamb tenderloin & a mint & walnut pesto

Prawn on a Blini
Citrus steamed prawns w ginger, micro cilantro crème & mini blini

-----Buffet Mains-----
Meats
Roasted Chicken Thighs
Grilled chicken thigh with Thai coconut & coriander curry & topped with golden toasted almonds

Prime Beef sirloin
Prime beef sirloin w a Dijon, thyme crust & red onion jus

South Island Salmon
South Island salmon w a roasted tomato & lime chutney

-----Salads & Vegetables-----
Rosemary & Garlic Roasted Potatoes
Rubbed with sea salt, fresh rosemary and garlic and roasted in virgin olive oil until golden crisp

Greek Salad
Greek styled salad of cucumber, red tomato & capsicum, black olives, feta & basil leaves

Kumara, Avocado & Green bean Salad
Roast Kumara, avocado & green bean salad w honey & mustard dressing
Seasonal Greens
Wok tossed seasonal greens w a hoisin, sesame & ginger sauce

Hand-picked Green Leaf Salad
Baby beet, rocquette & mizuna leaf salad finished with pickled red onion and chardonnay vinaigrette

-----Breads-----
A local selection of freshly baked breads served with flavoured butter

-----Dessert Platters-----
Lemon & lime mini tarts w mascarpone
Orange poppy cakes w chocolate ganache & pistachio crumb
Petit Pavlovas topped w cream & seasonal berry compote


Wedding Reception - Buffet Option 2
-----Canapés-----
Herbed potato cake, cold smoked salmon, dill crème fraiche & Sango sprouts
Fresh cherry tomato, basil pesto, feta cream on a poppy seed tortilla crisp
Korma spiced prawn tails w a refreshing yoghurt dip
Chicken & bacon pate on New York peppered crostini & red currant jelly

-----Palate Cleanser-----
Fresh pineapple, honey dew melon & mint shot

-----Buffet Mains-----
Meats
Oven Roasted Salmon
South Island Salmon, boned & roasted in our kitchen, glazed with bush honey, soy & sweet chilli
Char Roast Eye Fillet
Eye fillet of beef marinated, char-roast cooked to medium rare served beautifully tender with our own tomato chilli jam
Roasted Chicken Thighs
Oven roasted crispy skinned chicken thighs, lightly drizzled with a spiced cream sauce
& topped with golden toasted almonds

-----Salads & Vegetables-----
Potatoes w Garlic Aioli
Gourmet baby potatoes roasted with garlic aioli
Roasted Pumpkin
Roasted pumpkin w crunchy pumpkin seeds, rocket, & creamy feta drizzle
Orzo Pasta
Orzo pasta w semi dried tomato, parsley & almond pesto
Cauliflower Salad
Char grilled cauliflower, toasted cashews, baby spinach & creamy feta mayo
Greek Salad
Moroccan pearl barley w honeyed baby carrots, pine nuts, currents & a Caper Verde dressing
Hand-picked Green Leaf Salad
Baby beet, rocquette & mizuna leaf salad finished with pickled red onion and a chardonnay vinaigrette

-----Breads-----
A local selection of freshly baked breads served with flavoured butter

-----Dessert Platters-----
Petit Pavlova w vanilla cream & raspberry compote
Chocolate brownie bites w white chocolate ganache & walnuts

Lemoncello, lemon curd & gingernut cheesecake


Mmmm, Yum Yum!





Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Intaglia...

Previously I have blogged about Intaglia and The Grand Tour. Now I have the chance to share some pictures of our intaglia collection. Last weekend we found our collection, still being in the process of unpacking some items, and decided that we would display them in the vitrines in the foyer, as they complement the classical decor with the Piranese etchings and bronze urns...

Above: The plaster cast medallions, or intaglia, that would have been collected by men during their grand tour through Italy.

Below: The vitrines with the Piranese etchings and bronze and ormolu urns.

A close up of some of the intalgia.

The foyer...

Some readers have requested photos of the China room. I hope to be able to share some of those with you early next month. We also have some exciting news to share with you in our next post about catering at Willowbrook.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Clocks of Willowbrook Series, Post 3...

The next clock we are sharing is a grandfather clock upstairs, which dates back to Ca. 1840. It belonged to Connie Sinclair, a friend of Peter's in Folkestone, and passed to Peter when he was a curate there.


It is not as old as the clock downstairs, but appears older because of all the heavily carved dark oak exterior...

The dark oak and pine cone carving almost reminds me of a Black Forest clock.

It was made by Sam Taylor of Framlingham, Suffolk, UK, and has a lovely chinoiserie painted face...

Unlike the country clock downstairs, which only has an hour hand, this clock has hours, minutes and seconds...


Below: Detail of a painted spandrel.

Below: The brass pendulum and 2 large lead weights...

Chiming 12...

I shall try to post with more frequency in the weeks ahead, but we have [delightfully] been rushed off our feet with enquiries about Willowbrook, and I have had a lot to do at work as well. Do stop by next weekend, I'm sure we will have come up with something inspirational for you by then. D&P.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Stairs and Galleries Unveiled...

This little post was missed out of the March unveiling. So for completeness here are some photos of the finished staircase and galleries...


I am so glad we had solid slabs of marble laid for the steps, as the join lines in tiles would have done my head in. I am also fond of the non-slip tread which was laser-cut into the top of each of the risers.


The hand rail is not as obtrusive as I had imagined it, which is good.


Now we just need to wait for the art to arrive. In the meantime the upstairs landing and long gallery are rather spartan...

Above: The reflection of the light in the polished marble.

Below: A quiet corner to sit awhile, with flowers and our guest book.

Above: The long gallery, with 2 bronze busts and a large Italian painting. I would like to place a long line of busts down it like this...


And in time swap the painting for a mirror...


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