I was recently invited along to The Newbridge on Usk Country Inn, part of the popular Celtic Manor Resort, for a live cookery demonstration and cocktail making*. Based in the heart of the countryside alongside the River Usk the Newbridge is the perfect place for a peaceful getaway.
I was the first of the bloggers to arrive at the event, I was greeted with champagne and given a personal tour of the venue and the gardens. The garden terrace is beautiful, I can imagine spending a Summer's evening out there sipping cocktails and taking in the views overlooking the River Usk.
Impressively the Newbridge on Usk have their own kitchen garden, growing many things from herbs to pumpkins and a lot more in between. I love the fact that a lot of the produce used in the restaurant is grown just a minutes walk away from the kitchen. They try to keep everything as natural and local as possible, if they can't grow/make it their selves they will strive to buy it from a local firm, a fine example of this is that a lot of their spirits come from Penderyn Distillery.
The cosy, rustic theme of the Newbridge on Usk suits the venue perfectly. With wooden floors, log fires, comfortable sofas and teacup candles on the tables it would be the perfect place to spend a Winter night. I can imagine that it will look beautiful decorated for Christmas.
We were served beautiful canapés on arrival, it was a struggle to resist taking the whole tray for myself!
The demonstrations were held in their private dining room, this room is available to hire, seating up to 14 people.
Both the cocktail and cookery demonstrations were informative and helpful. We were provided with recipe cards to take home, I'm looking forward to hosting a Newbridge on Usk style cocktail night using my recipe card.
We were shown how to make a simple yet 'wow' Eton Mess using a few different types of meringue, I didn't even know that there were different types of meringue! The Eton Mess was decorated with strawberries and edible flowers from the kitchen garden.
The cocktail demonstration started with a chat about their infusions. It was quite interesting to hear how, for example, they add tarragon and wild fennel into a bottle of gin which is then used as part of their cocktail making.
We were shown how to make several cocktails, all of which are served at the Newbridge on Usk.
The cocktails included the Newbridge Summer Fizz, Newbridge Mojito and the Newbridge South Seas.
We were provided with more tasty canapés to enjoy in-between sampling cocktails.
Following the demonstration we were asked to pick our favourite cocktail and have a go at making it. I went up with Sarah from Hills & Daffodils, Sarah made the mojito and I made the summer fizz. I am so cack handed that I was sure I was going to break something but thankfully I didn't. Making the cocktail was great fun, but a little nerve wracking! Thankfully I had a nice alcoholic drink to enjoy afterwards.
Kacie from The Rare Welsh Bit and Jamie from Explore with Ed were next up. Kacie made the mojito and Jamie made the Newbridge South Seas.
We were very generously given our own mini infusions to take home, a mint & basil infused rum for mojitos and the tarragon and wild fennel infused Brecon Gin.
We had a fantastic evening, the staff at the Newbridge on Usk are fantastic, they are very friendly and clearly take a lot of pride in their work.
This is the second cookery demonstration that I have attendedd with the Celtic Manor and I can't recommend them enough, find out more about their events here.