Sunday 19 June 2022

Jubilee Bake Off

One of the fun "Open Day" events was a "Platinum Jubilee Bake Off", suggested by friend of Balintore Emma. For my sins, I have never watched a single episode of "The Great British Bake-Off" on TV, and was nervous about the amount of organisation that might be required given how much else was happening on the Open Day. However, I rationalised it was all about sampling cakes and pontificating - what's not to like? :-)

one of the entries - yums !

The judging was at 12:00 on the Open Day, and I invited Sara, the housekeeper, to be my co-judge, We were very impressed by the standard of the 6 entries during the tasting. Eventually, we retired to a private room to adjudicate. Sara and I had come to completely different verdicts in the 3 categories: best flavour, best presentation and the overall winner. This was a valuable education for me, for those times in life when you feel unfairly judged. Anyhow, during our discussions it became obvious that Sara and I had picked up the same strengths and weaknesses in the entries, and we were able to come to a joint decision perfectly amicably.

Best Flavour: strawberry meringues

A meringue is a common item, but these were in a different league - nothing short of perfection. Crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside. 

strawberry meringues

Best Presentation: hedgehog macaroons

And yes we did feel guilty eating these as they looked so good and, er, cute!

hedgehog macaroons

Overall Winner: passion fruit gin and tonic cupcakes

I swore I would not be swayed by presentation and I am sceptical of the current lady-vogue for cupcakes, but the icing on these magnificent looking mini-sponges tasted amazing - beautifully balanced between sweet and sharp. Caitlin, our worthy winner, and is now booked in for a free night's stay at the castle's AirBnB!

passion fruit and gin and tonic cupcakes

Wednesday 1 June 2022

Plantinum Jubilee Preparations

Thanks to Emma, Simon, Gregor and Liam for decorating the castle today! This is in preparation for the Balintore Castle Platinum Jubilee Open Day this Saturday. Bunting has been strung-up, flags are now fluttering in the breeze and balloons have been inflated. 

If you are looking for a free fun day out over the long Jubilee Weekend, then come along to the Balintore Castle Jubilee Open Day 10:00-20:00 on Saturday the 4th June. There is car-parking, food and drink, castle tours, family and kiddie-friendly activities.

The event is free, but admission is strictly and only by timed ticket, here.

Here are some of the special activities:

The Great Jubilee Bake-Off

Bring your home baking to the castle Servants' Hall by 12:00 on Saturday, when judging will occur. Marks will be awarded for presentation and taste. The overall winner's prize is a free night's stay in the castle's lovingly restored AirBnB accommodation.

Find the Queen's Crown Jewels

Thieves have hidden the Queen's Crown Jewels in the grounds of Balintore Castle. If you can find 5 of the 10 jewels, then the Queen (or loyal stand-in) will give you a personal reward.

Design Your Own Crown

All the materials are provided for you to make and decorate your own crown. And you get to wear the crown and take it home too. :-)

Queen's Canopy

Come and plant a tree in the grounds of Balintore Castle as part of the Jubilee Queen's Canopy Scheme. All necessary equipment and tree are provided. Why not dedicate the tree to a loved one?

the entrance tower

the servants' hall

the principal dressing room

the open day reception