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A riot of colour; a record number of gold medals; great weather and champagne flowing – it could only have been RHS Chelsea!
RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2010 was a great success for the official caterer Sodexo Prestige. With a 20% increase in hospitality in 2010, Sodexo Prestige delivered 157,000 covers across four restaurants, cafes and fine dining areas at the show’s Royal Hospital site in Chelsea from 24th – 29th May 2010.
Throughout the course of the week, the visitors to the show consumed:
• 36,000 coffees
• 1,700 Chelsea buns
• 740 seafood plates
• 4,000 paninis
• 33,000 cups of tea
• 3,500 bottles of champagne
• 24,000 glasses of Pimm’s
• 4,400 covers in Hospitality
Paul Boon, events director, Sodexo Prestige said, “A small site with restricted access, RHS Chelsea Flower Show challenges even the most experienced show managers. The restaurants and supporting catering facilities were all built in a week before the start of the Show which previewed with the exclusive Charity Gala Night. 2,000 staff were on hand to ensure the evening went perfectly for the 5,200 guests for three separate events; a champagne and canapés reception for the Royal Party’s guests; a champagne and canapé reception for distinguished guests; then a dinner across different locations.
Paul continues, “Each day I manage a team of around 2,870 staff. Many of them are in early as we received our daily deliveries at 7.30am each morning and it is midnight before the last of the staff leave. The catering is very diverse on site. There are mobile outlets at Ranleigh Gardens, the Exhibitors ' restaurant, the Bistro and Champagne Bar, Food Court in North Ranleigh, The Rock Bank as well as our new Seafood restaurant, Severn & Wye. We have a team of 20 chefs each day serving 1,500 covers at the Rock Bank restaurant as it is open from 11.30am – 3.30pm each day. This year was my first as events director for RHS Chelsea Flower Show and it was a huge challenge and a great success.”
One of the highlights of the show was the new Severn & Wye Restaurant which achieved the highest ever customer survey score on site in mystery shopper scores. Situated between the Rivers Severn and Wye, the smokery specialises in locally caught salmon, both fresh and smoked, as well as a full range of other smoked fish and smoked poultry. All of these are hand prepared from the best quality fresh fish, salted and smoked over a blend of oak chips and chipped whiskey and calvados barrels to give a unique smoked fish taste. Sodexo Prestige developed a partnership with Severn & Wye Smokery to offer a sustainable seafood restaurant at RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Hampton Court Palace Flower Show in 2010.
Favourites from the Severn & Wye menu for the shows included shellfish platters of lobster, langoustine, mussels, queen scallops, Atlantic prawns, squid, brown shrimps, crevettes, cockles, clams and oysters served with a chilled bottle of Laurent-Perrier Brut NV; Finnan smoked haddock chowder served with sourdough bread; Brixham crab, new potato and mixed bean salad; smoked haddock from Severn & Wye Smokery, mashed potatoes served with spinach and peas, grain mustard cream; strawberry tart and clotted cream and a selection of British local and artisan cheese served with oat cakes and wafers.