The Rt Hon Eric Pickles celebrates at The Marygreen Manor Hotel

Last Friday, 20th April 2012, saw Brentwood MP Eric Pickles reaching his 60th year.  We were delighted Mr Pickles chose to celebrate this milestone at his favourite hotel in Brentwood – The Marygreen Manor!

Mr Pickles, joined by 20 close friends and colleagues enjoyed a full English breakfast in a private dining room where he was presented with cards, gifts and a lovely birthday cake.

We were proud to host this special occasion and wish Mr Pickles a very happy birthday with many more to come!

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How to fillet a cooked Dover Sole

One of the most popular dishes on our A la Carte menu at The Marygreen Manor Hotel is our Dover Sole. Traditionally grilled in butter, with capers and lemon segments, guests can choose it to be served on or off the bone.

When requested off the bone the fish is skilfully prepared at the table by a member of our team.

The short video below gives you a close up view of all the action!. The fish is being prepared by our Restaurant Manager, Michael Hughes, with commentary by Assistant Manager Cyril Capet.

Now it’s your turn – go on give it a go!

Murder at the Marygreen Manor!

On Friday 13th April we hosted another of our successful Murder Mystery Nights hosted by The Company Upfront.

Set in St. Vernon’s Boarding School for Young Ladies in 1949 the cast of characters including Headmaster – Mr Granville Stickler, Matron – Miss Beatrice Dose and Gardner/Handyman – Wally Fermantle set the scene for the murder in the Henry VIII Suite as our guests were busily taking down notes that they could use later in the evening to uncover the murderous culprit! Knowing who committed the murder is a good start but it’s not enough; you also need to discover the murder weapon and the six reasons why the murder was committed!

After a delicious starter and main course, served in Tudors Restaurant, guests were given the chance to question the characters in the oak lounge before returning to the restaurant for dessert.  During dessert characters move from table to table giving the opportunity for four, and only four, final questions!

After dessert our guests moved back into the Henry VIII Suite for the final scene and the dramatic reveal of the guilty party.  At Friday’s event the murderer turned out to be the English teacher – Miss Vita Prout; or was it the Art Teacher – Mr Nigel Rogers – oh I can’t remember now!

Don’t miss your change to enjoy one of these fantastic shows.  We are now taking booking for “A Fete Worse than Death” on Friday 29th June 2012 and “39 Steps to Murder” on Friday 28th September 2012.

For information on our forthcoming shows in June and September click here:

http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hotboxx/4e23f620ef966f9c02000002/Murder%20Mystery%202012.pdf

For information on our Christmas shows click here:

http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hotboxx/4e23f620ef966f9c02000002/MGM%20CB%20WEB.pdf

Photographs taken by Steve from BPA Photography: http://www.bpaphotography.co.uk/

Watch The Company Upfronts promotional video here:

http://youtu.be/0I4GswdZv4Q

Fundraising for Saint Francis Hospice

Great news from Saint Francis Hospice today; at a recent fundraising event, held in memory of his mother, Daniel Moss managed to raise £2,468.65 for the charity.

Saint Francis Hospice is based in Romford and serves Brentwood, Havering, Barking & Dagenham and Redbridge – an area containing around a million residents!

The hospice is a registered independent charity, receiving only a third of its funding from the NHS.  This leaves a short fall of around two-thirds which is made up solely by donations.  When you consider running costs are around 7.2 million pounds a year you begin to realise what a huge achievement this is.

The charity has been helping people suffering from life limiting illnesses for the last 25 years

Members of the public, like Daniel, put a huge amount of effort into their fundraising activities and we were only to happy to help by donating a raffle prize of an Afternoon tea for Two; we hope the lucky prize winner enjoys their treat!!

Click the link to find out more about Saint Francis Hospice, including current fundraising activities and other ways to help: www.sfh.org.uk

Vegetarian Delight

Our new vegetarian menu was introduced today. Combining delicious textures and flavours to bring a vegetarian fine dining experience not to be missed.  It can often be difficult for vegetarians to find something tempting on restaurant menus but not anymore!

Choose from delicious starters including Kohlrabi & Bean Sprout Salad With Wasabi Cucumber Granita or Corn Cakes with Oregano Mojo and Avocado Lime Salsa.  For your main course you’ll be spoilt for choice; will it be the delicious Apple & Cheddar Potato Latkes with Baby Beetroot, Spring Slow and Horseradish Cream or the beautifully presented Onion Bhaji wrapped in Aubergine with Cherry Tomato & Tabouli Salad?

Our Vegetarian A la Carte menu is available for dinner and lunch Monday – Saturday.

Of course you don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this menu so next time you visit Tudors Restaurant at Marygreen Manor dare to be different and go vegetarian!

Vegetarian Menu

Starters

Kohlrabi & Bean Sprout Salad

Wasabi Cucumber Granita

Corn Cakes

Oregano Mojo, Avocado Lime Salsa

Warm Tomato Consommé

Thyme Jelly, Basil Fritters

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

Sage, Pine Nuts, Saffron

Main Course

Apple & Cheddar Potato Latkes

Baby Beetroot, Spring Slow, Horseradish Cream

Onion Bhaji wrapped in Aubergine

Cherry Tomato & Tabouli Salad

Chickpea Pancake

Warm Caponata, Marmora Tapenade, Vegetable Thyme & Saffron Dressing 

Goats Cheese Cannelloni

Salsa Verde & Courgette Noodles

The Great Foie Gras Debate

Foie Gras is the fattened liver of a goose or duck and is commonly used in many restaurants throughout the country, particularly in restaurants specializing in what has become know as “fine dining”

Many people consider foie gras as a delicacy.  Others, however, find the use of this food abhorrent.  Over the last few years the production of foie gras has become a major cause of concern amongst many animal welfare groups and organizations.  These groups have gained support from many celebrities, chefs and members of the public alike. Restaurants using foie gras have found themselves besieged by protestors and demonstrations, resulting in poor publicity and falling customer numbers.  In extreme cases some people have experienced property damage with others even receiving death threats. These actions have seen many restaurateurs removing foie gras from their menus.  But why has this particular food, with its origins dating back to the time of the Egyptians, caused such dramatic reactions?

The major cause for concern surrounds the actual farming methods and animal husbandry used to produce foie gras, in particular the use of gavage, to force feed the birds up to four pounds of feed a day, increasing the size of the liver by up to 10 times its normal size. This process involves a tube being placed into the birds’ throat so that a mix of rich grains and fats can be fed directly into their stomachs.  This usually takes place four times a day for the last 18 – 15 days before slaughter.  Kept in terrible conditions and suffering horrendous injuries the plight of many geese and ducks on some foie gras farms is not a happy one.  There is no doubt that these farms should not be allowed to operate; however at the other end of the scale many responsible producers run operations offering the highest standards of animal welfare.  Improving general living conditions, using plastic tubing to reduce injury and assigning key workers to particular groups of animals to build familiarity and reduce stress. http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/12/the-physiology-of-foie-why-foie-gras-is-not-u.html

Some foie gras producers have reacted positively to the increased attention their industry have received and this has resulted in them adopting a more ethical production process which removes the use of gavage altogether, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1543031/Ethical-foie-gras-from-naturally-greedy-geese.html

Obviously it is not possible to ignore the subject of the individual right of choice involved in the usage and consumption of foie gras; and of course most animal products involve some degree of unpleasantness in their production.  In a bid to meet demand for foie gras, whilst acknowledging the suffering involved in its production, some forward thinking companies, such as Waitrose, have developed very good foie gras alternatives and perhaps in the future such products will become commercially available to the catering industry. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/foie-gras-faux-pas-or-faux-gras-1948839.html

http://www.waitrose.presscentre.com/content/detail.aspx?ReleaseID=634&NewsAreaID=2

If commercially produced “faux gras” does not appeal to you why not try making your own?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFX3igmDfwU

Here at Marygreen Manor we take our position within our local community seriously, supporting many local charities and organizations, working with local schools to offer work experience placements and being respectful to our residential neighbors.  Within the last year we have instigated many environmental initiatives and understand the need for our business to operate in a responsible manner. https://marygreenmanor.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/going-for-green/

We have been conscious of the both the commercial and ethical difficulties surrounding foie gras for sometime.  These concerns led us to reconsider our use of this product and earlier in the year it was decided that when our spring menu was introduced foie gras would not be a feature of it.  This menu change will take place at the end of April and we are confident that our customers will understand and support our decision. Of course, as always, we would appreciate hearing your views on this subject and would welcome any comments you would like to make on this blog.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foie_gras

Afternoon Tea

Anyone for tea?

Marygreen Tea

Afternoon Tea at Marygreen Manor Hotel

No one can question the British obsession with tea drinking and what better way to enjoy our favorite beverage than as part of a delicious afternoon tea experience; but what are the origins of this famous institution?

Afternoon tea, believed to have been introduced by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, first became fashionable in the early 1840’s and was developed to offer some light sustenance between lunch and dinner, which was normally served at 8pm.  These dressy affairs, necessitating gloves, hats and long flowing gowns, were normally held in the drawing room between 4pm – 5pm.  Tea imported from India and Ceylon was poured into delicate bone china cups from beautifully ornate sliver teapots.  The tea was accompanied by a selection of delicate finger sandwiches and a delicious selection of dainty sweet pastries and cakes the inclusion of scones, clotted cream and fruit preserves were added much later in the 20th century. Originally small, social gatherings these events blossomed in to larger scale formal occasion known as “Tea Receptions” with upwards of 200 attendees!

Nowadays afternoon tea is seen a lovely way to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, baby showers and any other celebration you can think of but do you really need an excuse to spend a few hours of pure indulgence with your friends?

At Marygreen Manor afternoon tea is served between 2.30 – 4.40 Monday-Saturday and 4.30 – 6.30 on Sundays. If you’re feeling particularly special you can always enhance your tea with a glass or two of something cool, crisp and bubbly!

Could this be the best afternoon tea in Brentwood:

http://www.marygreenmanor.co.uk/afternoon-tea

Why not try it at home:

http://britishfood.about.com/od/introtobritishfood/tp/afternoontearecipes.htm

Want to know more:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afternoon_tea#Afternoon_tea

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