I couldn’t tell you how excited and eager I was to fulfill the requirements to become a City Expert with Google when I received an invitation to The Edinbugh Whiteout event held at The Pompadour, the 1st floor restaurant at the Waldorf Astoria – Caledonian Hotel.
With the promise of a white Christmas theme, edible centre pieces a 4-course meal, festive games that will let you meet other City Experts, who could resist?
When I arrived, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. It seemed like some of the City Experts either came together or already knew each other from previous events. I wasn’t sure if I was going to meet anyone to speak with seeing as it was my very first event (I even learned that meant I was a ‘Google virgin’!), but with a bit of the White Lady, a nice and sweet but heartwarming cocktail with a bit of cotton candy on the rim, I was ready to meet other City Experts.
Our cocktail on arrival: the White Lady
Not long after the alloted start time, serving staff started laying out the oysters and carrying trays of canapes. With all the conversation going around a small entryway, it was hard to hear at some points what the canapes were, but needless to say they tasted amazing.
Canapes served kept to the white theme
While everyone was caught in conversation, I decided to venture into the area we were to be seated and was instantly in awe of the set up of the room.
The tablecloth and centrepieces are in the prerequisite white, but it seemed each table has a different centre piece that made them all unique. Each centrepiece under the bell-shaped cover told a different winter tale and it was fascinating to go around each table looking at what each one held.
Once we were seated, we noticed there was a slim white gift box at each place setting. We were then told we could open it and whoever performed their festive task the best would win a prize. Luckily for my table mate, she didn’t even need to go around asking people for their birthdays or introduce themselves to other City Experts with the same letter to their first or last names, and was given this beautiful box of deluxe chocolates…just because.
We were happily chatting away while wine was poured and engrossed in cutting up our menu into personalised paper snowflakes with a story about our favourite place to spend Christmas and beautifully displayed dishes were served. I’m not used to fancy dishes and don’t usually recognise those with culinary names, but they all tasted amazing.
Starter: Orkney Scallop Ceviche, Langoustine Maccheroncini and citrus purée
Main course: Roast Perthshire Partridge, Lentil Pithivers, Salsify and Jerusalem Artichokes
The highlight of the evening was the 3D sculpture cake of St Gile’s Cathedral. Standing tall on a table, the point probably reached about 7 to 8 feet. The cake alone, if sat on the floor, would have very likely been between 4-4.5 feet tall! It was a sight to behold and everyone was watching wide eyed as the chef cut into the cake to be served.
3D cake of St Gile’s Cathedral
Cake of caramel sponge with chocolate ganache served with homemade vanilla ice cream
After more conversation and filling our tummies with cake and ice cream, we were then brought coffee and tea to have with our petit fours: a fluffy marshmallow square, doughnut ring, a macaroon and chocolate berry pudding.
Petit Fours with coffee or tea
Before my fellow City Experts and I decided to leave for the evening, we decided to have a bit of fun with the photo booth set up at the end of the room. What a way to remember my first City Experts event!
Are you a City Expert in your area? What events have you attended? What was your most memorable one?