Ascot Racecourse today launched the world’s first ever, horse-drawn, Michelin starred dining experience. The pop-up restaurant appeared on Observation Point, The Queen’s Walk on London’s South Bank giving invited guests and intrigued onlookers an early showcase of the Fine Dining offer at this year’s Royal Ascot.
Guests enjoyed a three course Royal Ascot taster menu prepared by twice Michelin starred chefs, Michael Caines (Gidleigh Park, Devon) and Phil Howard (The Square, Mayfair) who are both hosting restaurants at this year’s Royal Meeting. Michael and Phil partnered with Steve Golding (Executive Chef, Ascot Racecourse) and his award-winning team from Ascot’s catering partner Sodexo to create this unusual, but luxurious, dining experience. The lunch was served with paired white, red and dessert wine.
The beautiful restaurant which sits inside a lovingly restored Victorian landau carriage accommodated two diners at once, at a specially crafted dining table. Diners were welcomed by Ascot’s famous Greencoats and served Champagne Bollinger and canapés to whet their appetites. Once aboard the carriage, diners were taken along the Southbank overlooking the River Thames, with views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London. The diners were pulled by two immaculately turned out grey horses called Otto and Bullet. The carriage stopped near the National Theatre to let diners eat without the motion of the carriage detracting from the quality of the dining experience.
Speaking about the restaurant Juliet Slot, Commercial Director, Ascot Racecourse said, “Royal Ascot is one of the highlights of the British summer calendar, because it combines the spectacle of the world’s best horses, with stunning pageantry, amazing fashion and fine food. We wanted to treat people to an early taster of the Royal Ascot experience and we have worked with Michael and Phil to create what we believe to be the world’s first Michelin starred horse drawn dining experience.”
Michael Caines said,“As an experienced chef, I am used to cooking food under pressure and have worked in some challenging culinary environments. However, I have to say this is the most unusual dining experience I have prepared food for – although it has been a huge amount of fun too.”
Phil Howard added, “Hosting a restaurant at Royal Ascot is both an enormous privilege but also represents an exciting challenge, in terms of delivering a high quality dining experience that fits around the racing. Similarly, creating dishes of an exceptional standard that can be served in a genuinely horse drawn restaurant has been fun and far from straightforward.”
Those who missed out on this experience can find out more about Fine Dining at Royal Ascot by visitinghttp://po.st/RAFineDining
Tickets for the Royal Meeting start from £21 and can be booked by calling 0844 346 3000 or visitingwww.ascot.co.uk
About Michael Caines
Michael Caines is one of Britain’s most acclaimed chefs. AA Chef’s Chef of the Year in 2007, and awarded an MBE in 2006 for services to the hospitality industry, Michael is the Executive Chef at Gidleigh Park, the acclaimed and prestigious country house hotel which was voted the number one restaurant by Sunday Times Food List in 2013. Gidleigh Park is located on the edge of Dartmoor at Chagford, Devon, where Michael has earned his reputation – as well as two Michelin stars – serving distinctive modern European cuisine utilising the finest local and regional produce and ingredients.
Michael spent three influential years under his mentor Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire. Amongst numerous other accolades, Michael has cooked in 10 Downing Street for the Prime Minister.
Watch this short video for an insight into the main course he will be creating for Royal Ascot - http://po.st/RAMichaelCaines
About Phil Howard
Philip Howard has been chef and co-owner of The Square, Mayfair since its opening in 1991. Whilst the style of his cooking has evolved and progressed, receiving many awards and accolades along the way, the fundamental backbone of his dishes remains unchanged. Impeccable seasonal ingredients are accurately cooked and brought together on the plate in a harmonious, elegant, yet satisfying manner. The Square was awarded two Michelin stars in 1998.
Phil appeared On Great British Menu 2012 - winning the fish course round with his Cornish mackerel with oysters, mussels, winkles and samphire dish. He also released his first cookbook in 2012, a 2 volume tome of recipes from The Square including dishes like lasagne of crab with a cappuccino of shellfish and a champagne foam and braised veal cheek with hand-rolled macaroni, cauliflower and truffle.
He is also a co-proprietor for Michelin starred establishments Kitchen W8 and The Ledbury. In 2011, he picked up a Catey Award for Restaurateur of the year.
Watch this short video about for an insight into the desert he will be creating for Royal Ascot - http://po.st/PhilHoward