Diners at Coleg Llandrillo's Orme View Restaurant experienced an evening full of wonder and imagination, as they took a 'trip down the rabbit hole' to enjoy a 4-course Alice in Wonderland-themed dinner, organised and prepared by the college's Hospitality and Catering degree-level students.
The Level 5 Hospitality Management and Culinary Artsstudents prepared and served the dishes along with accompanying cocktails and wines, themed around chapters from the book. They also decorated the restaurant with appropriate props and stage materials, which were borrowed from Theatr Colwyn.
The students decided upon the classic novel Alice in Wonderland as the evening's theme due to links within the area. Llandudno's wonderland links stretch back to 1861 when Alice Pleasance Liddell (the 'real' Alice in Wonderland) stayed in Llandudno. She was eight-years-old and on holiday with her family when Charles Lutwidge Dodson (Lewis Carroll) visited them.
There were six higher education (degree-level) students in the 'management' team: three to run the kitchen and three based in the bar and restaurant. They had a team of further education students as their staff for the night.
The menu comprised: 'Advice from a Caterpillar' (smoked cheese and chestnut-stuffed mushroom); 'Lobster-Quadrille' (lobster bisque); 'Pig and Pepper' (roast stuffed pork, served with peppercorn sauce and seasonal vegetables) and 'A Mad Tea-Party' (a selection of miniature desserts served with tea or coffee). In addition, the students created a range of specially crafted 'Wonderland' cocktails.
One of the organising students, Steven Bloor from Colwyn Bay, got into character by dressing up as the White Rabbit, whilst reading extracts from the book. Also, the students arranged for a magician/illusionist to do card tricks at the tables throughout the evening.
Feedback from the customers was excellent, with positive comments about both the food and service. A selection of comments included: "We had a really enjoyable evening; it was a real credit to the students and the college", "The best themed evening that we have been to at the Orme View Restaurant; the White Rabbit really made the night' and "The attention to detail was very impressive. The menu, decorations and the whole atmosphere really fitted with the theme. Credit to the whole team; the night was superb."
Tutor Mike Garner said:
The students this year really excelled, putting a lot of time and effort into running and organising their themed event. I have been involved with the Level 5 higher education students' themed events for the past six years and would say that this is one of the best we have ever had. They have really raised the bar for the theme nights next year.
As part of their Food and Beverage Management module, the Level 5 Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts students have to plan, organise, run and manage a themed event as part of the assessment for this module. The themed event nights run every year between March and May and are open to the general public.
For more information on Hospitality and Catering courses at Coleg Llandrillo, contact the college's Learner Services team on 01492 542 338.