I need to point this out… I am NOT Irish…but I do love the accent, in fact, so much so that when I saw the opportunity to attend this years St Paddy’s Day ball hosted by the Irish Club of Brussels, I jumped at the chance with 2 of my favourite partygoers (who are both Canadian… so no Irish roots there either!) – especially since it was a fabulous opportunity to dust off our evening frocks 🙂
We might have started the evening off a little early with pre-cocktail glasses of champagne at 6pm (and a photo shoot that would rival the inner pages of VOGUE) before heading to the Conrad Hotel for the cocktail hour. This was essentially our chance to check out all the other guests in their finery! And even though the invitation firmly stated that men should wear tuxedo’s and women to wear FULL LENGTH evening wear… we still saw a few cocktail dresses (some even teamed up with a pair of knee-high boots… WTF???)
The dinner bell was rung… and we all headed into the Ballroom to find our alloted tables (we were at Table # 29 with 9 other people … all couples except one older gentleman who didn’t say *boo to a goose* the entire evening – but out table was lively and between the starter and the fish course – we had made new friends… swapped numbers and promised to get together in the near future.
The Starter was plated and on the tables when we arrived and is described as “Saumon marine au citron et aneth, creme d’avruga et blini’s (aka Salmon with lemon & dill, served with Blini’s and Avruga cream). Very very nice…. a perfect way to start a banquet meal!
The Fish course was filet de Sandre aux pleurotes, mousseline de carotte, creme au beurre safrane (Sander fillet with mushrooms, carrot mousse and butter and saffron cream) – I have to confess that I did not enjoy this course… as the fish was very *um* fishy (which always indicates to me that it was frozen…)
The Main course was… * drum roll* …Boeuf Irlandais, Gaufrette de pomme de terre, champignons du marché, Croustillant de ventréche au piment d’Espelette (Nicely put… an Irish steak with a potato Rosti, Mushroom puree and a slice of crispy bacon). My piece was PERFECTLY cooked to my preference (without them even asking)… Medium to Medium Rare… all nice and pink and juicy inside… my only criticism is that the piece of meat that I received was mostly fat…
And dessert… oh we all know how much I adore dessert… but Carré magique au chocolat griotte, sauce vanille (and as Google Translate makes this *magic square of chocolate cherry with vanilla sauce* so who am I to argue with this, eh?). It was sweet, without being too sweet and light enough to finish off the meal(even if I didn’t finish it because I got distracted by the irish coffee’s that we were making out our table :))
All washed down with cases of red and white wine… and of course as this event was sponsored by Bushmills Whiskey and Bailey’s… there were many tasting opportunities after dinner… not to mention the wonderful gift from Bushmills – a mini hipflask and a mini free bottle (which we may or may not have poured into our coffee to make irish coffee’s)
All in all… would I go next year? DEFINITELY! The dance floor was packed until 3am… and we met so many wonderful people – from the Czech Barbie to the Dutch Amazonian…
CONRAD BRUSSELS – Avenue Louise 71, Brussels, 1050
+32 2 542 4242