The Willow Tree Restaurant, a pop-up restaurant at Willow Court care home in Harpenden has proved a success with residents.
The pop-up is held on the last Monday of every month and aims to create a warm, safe and relaxed atmosphere for residents and their families and friends to have a nice meal together away from the care environment.
The restaurant can cater for up to 25 covers and visitors are charged a small fee while residents dine for free.
The menus are created by chef manager Paul Campbell and deputy chef Malek Bachene who ensure that all meals are nutritionally balanced alongside the residents' dietary requirements.
The menu consists of two to three choices of starter, main and dessert including: scallop, pea puree and back pudding; chicken ballotine stuffed with wild mushrooms, baby vegetables, garlic mash and madeira sauce; and spiced apple and sultana panna cotta with peanut brittle.
Campbell said: "The idea of creating the dining experience was first suggested to me by Quantum Care's head office. It was something that was being trialled at other homes and the feedback from everyone involved was very positive. I was excited about the idea of hosting a dining club at Willow Court and once I had done a couple I wanted to really refine the menu and the restaurant experience, and so came up with the Willow Tree Restaurant.
"Since then it has been a real pleasure and honour organising the restaurant nights and it fills me with a tremendous amount of pride when I hear all the feedback. The residents really enjoy having the opportunity of being able to get dressed up for the evening and they all gather excitedly in the entrance for their families to arrive. It's so lovely, you can feel the excitement in the air."
Due to its sell-out popularity, the Willow Tree Restaurant is now being considered to open for two consecutive evenings.
Maria Ball, chief executive at Quantum Care said: "We take pride in having a very good reputation for food quality at all our homes. It is so important that we get it right in our sector, which is why we have a Support Services Team that ensure consistency throughout with regard to using locally sourced suppliers and food prepared by fully trained chefs that are able to meet a variety of dietary needs. So whilst the food served in our homes is of excellent quality, I have never associated Quantum Care with Michelin star ratings until seeing what is being produced at Willow Court. The idea of creating a restaurant environment within a home is solid proof that Quantum Care continue to be a resident-led care provider."
Quantum Care was formed in 1992 to operate Care Homes for older people in locations throughout Hertfordshire.
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