Lunch In The Great Hall

December 19, 2011


Last year Karen took us to Keswick Hall for a fancy Christmas lunch. We enjoyed it so much we returned – this year hosted by Karen’s friends Tracy and Clayton.


Keswick is gorgeous and dramatic and settled in the Virginia countryside.


Karen and me – hungry for lunch!


The format of the lunch is fun – soup and salad are served but then the rest is buffet

Carrot + Ginger Soup


Apple + Goat Cheese Salad


There were a variety of salads – and smoked salmon!!


And I followed those with some herby caper chicken, mac n cheese and green beans. I haven’t had mac in ages – it was great!


The dessert buffet was somethin’ else! I love how the portions are small-ish too so you can taste more.


I tried a round swirl cake  


Shared a crème brulee, chocolate chip bread pudding and a chocolate mousse with Karen!

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We ended the meal with some peppermint tea


Thanks so much to Tracy + Clayton for lunch – and for this fun gift for a foodie!


Can you believe it’s Christmas Week!?


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{ 53 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angel7 December 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm

That smoked salmon looks wonderful!

I cannot believe it is Christmas week either. I need to wrap presents today sometime.


2 Karen December 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Aww that looks so fun and festive!! Karen looks great!


3 Hillary December 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm

This is such a cool idea. Nice gift, Karen!


4 Maria @ Sinfully Nutritious December 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm

What a wonderful day! The meal looked incredible, everything you could want in pre-holiday lunch.

Looks like a great place to continue a tradition.


5 Krissy @ Shiawase Life December 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Wow! Fun times, glad you’re able to make this a fun Christmastime tradition!!


6 gloria schiralli December 19, 2011 at 4:13 pm

That place and all the food looks lovely! I can’t believe its christmas week either but I’m sooo excited! I love love love christmas!

That date syrup looks yummy! Can’t wait to hear how it tastes :)


7 jen_alluisi December 19, 2011 at 4:14 pm

How incredibly funny – I had lunch at Keswick today, too! Our office Christmas luncheon was in the downstairs, under Fossett’s, in one of the private rooms. I bet we were there at the same time! :)


8 KathEats December 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm

omg how funny!!!! Would have been fun to see you!


9 Lindzjane115 December 19, 2011 at 4:16 pm

Keswick is a special treat! What is date syrup?! Sounds wonderful…


10 [email protected] December 19, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Aww! What an elegant and festive lunch! Herby caper chicken sounds awesome!


11 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio December 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm

What a beautiful venue. That’s really nice that you were able to join Karen.


12 Johanna B December 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm

What a wonderful meal for you today. I think I would have wanted to go back again, too.


13 lynn @ the actor's diet December 19, 2011 at 4:21 pm

ah the buffet looks beautiful! i love places like that during the holidays too…


14 [email protected] December 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm

looks like a BEAUTIFUL lunch – atmosphere, scenery, and food!


15 Heather @ Run Eat Play December 19, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Everything looks so beautiful! That salmon looks delicious – I love salmon.


16 Christine @ Oatmeal in my Bowl December 19, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Wow, Keswic hall looks like a fantastic place to eat. I LOVE carrot-ginger soup. And get a load of those desserts. The crème brulee…YUM! I love cracking the top with my spoon. Simple joy. 😀


17 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga December 19, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Wow…Keswick is gorgeous and dramatic and so stately and fancy. These pictures are like something from a fancy magazine..prim and proper and smelling of class and culture and all things that my barefoot, sandy-footed, salty hair and smelly self (at the moment) from being outside all day today is world’s apart from here on the equator. These pictures transport me to a glimpse of your world and I love them!


18 KathEats December 19, 2011 at 4:36 pm

So glad they transport – that’s my goal!


19 Michelle (Peachy Palate) December 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm

That dessert table really does look incredible. Love going for the dessert platter option to share if it’s available in restaurants otherwise I only end up having to make sure I get a taste of everyone elses!


20 Heather December 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Karen looks absolutely radiant!


21 Blessing @ Working Mom Journal December 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Very rich collection of food. Glad to see Karen up and running, she looks beautiful :)


22 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen December 19, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Keswick is gorgeous! It would be a beautiful place for a wedding.
I’ll take some of that chocolate chip bread pudding :)


23 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) December 19, 2011 at 5:00 pm

Love that dessert buffet! So fancy!

Karen looks great!


24 Lisa (bakebikeblog) December 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm

what a delightful and elegant lunch!


25 Hope December 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm

What a lovely lunch! Everything looks so elegant and the buffet looks amazing. You and Karen look beautiful! :)


26 Susan H. @ the food allergy chronicles December 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm

What a beautiful place to have a Christmassy lunch! Everything looks amazing…from the soup to the desserts…lucky you! Date Syrup? Oh my gosh…delish!


27 Amanda December 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Keswick is really beautiful. I would have been all over that dessert buffet. :)

I haven’t heard of date syrup before. Curious to find out what you think!


28 Kim @ Spoonful of Sass December 19, 2011 at 5:28 pm

What a beautiful place and a nice way to celebrate!


29 Kerry December 19, 2011 at 5:29 pm

What a beautiful place. Oh and how glam does Karen look!?


30 kathleen @ the daily crumb December 19, 2011 at 5:46 pm

what a fun lunch!! fancy buffet lunches are such a fun treat… and everything looks delicious!


31 Zoe @ loseweightandgainhealth December 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm

What an awesome lunch! We in England are spoilt with beautiful old buildings to visit all over the place. But to have a fabulous lunch in one must be a real treat. And the food looked really yummy. Great start to Christmas week!


32 Laura @ She Eats Well December 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Date Syrup? As someone who is obsessed with all things dates…I need that. What a lovely and festive afternoon you had!


33 Laura (Starloz) December 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm

this building is sunning, i love old halls.
i adore a buffet lunch & haven’t had one in ages, i shall change this!


34 Beth December 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Karen looks beautiful!

After seeing your lunch, my pregnant self wants mac n cheese and green beans for dinner. Might have to make that happen.

Happy Holidays!


35 Lauren @ What Lauren Likes December 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Christmas week!? Woot! :)


36 Molly @ RDexposed December 19, 2011 at 6:28 pm

1. I immediately thought of Hogwart’s Great Hall!
2. I looove goat cheese and apple salads!
3. For once, I am ready for Christmas!


37 Cait @ Beyond Bananas December 19, 2011 at 6:32 pm

Dessert buffet>! Yes please! My sweet tooth has been on a mission lately. I’ve definitely got to do a little sugar cleanse. I’m craving it non-stop!


38 katie @KatieDid December 19, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Nice way to start the week off with a fun lunch out. Karen looks great :)


39 Jen December 19, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Herbed chicken is so good.

Black looks good on you Kath!


40 [email protected] December 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm

Okay…everything looks so gorgeous and the food seems off the hook. I’m curious about the swirl cake!


41 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats December 19, 2011 at 7:10 pm

That is a beautiful building! What a great tradition, you all should keep that up!


42 Sylvia @ My Attempt at Balanced Living December 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm

What a neat place for a luncheon. Karen is looking wonderful! That chicken sounded pretty yummy as did every piece of your dessert! Date syrup sounds interesting. Any idea what you’ll use it on?


43 KathEats December 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm

No idea yet!


44 Lindsay December 19, 2011 at 9:53 pm

That house is STUNNING! And I think that date syrup looks delish! I can’t believe we’re in Christmas week! Eeeee…very excited. I just adore Christmas. We are adjusting to not getting to see our families this year, but then we made a date to skype with everyone as we open their thoughtful gifts on Christmas morning~ you’ve gotta love technology:) Happy Christmas to you and yours!!


45 Sarah @ The Strength of Faith December 19, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Karen looks great!


46 Aimee December 19, 2011 at 11:11 pm

What an elegant way to celebrate the Christmas season! Looks like you had a great time :)


47 Khushboo December 19, 2011 at 11:49 pm

What a great way to spend Monday afternoon…or any afternoon! It all looks delish!


48 Hannah @ Sparrow + Spark! December 20, 2011 at 2:55 am

This looks delish! I love buffet style- my wedding was served like that in small portions so you could try everything.

Such a gorgeous building! (And Keswick is one of my favourite places here in the UK!).


49 Elisabeth December 20, 2011 at 3:16 am

Karen looks so good! Merry Christmas to her (and you & Matt, of course!) 😉 I cannot believe it’s the week of Christmas already…December went so fast! I’ve got all my shopping done, but I still have a bunch of wrapping, baking and a little decorating (tree went up late this year because of carpet cleaning) to do…


50 Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count December 20, 2011 at 8:29 am

I love creme brulee, especially with blackberries! What a lovely lunch spot!


51 ~Christy @ wonderofallthings December 20, 2011 at 10:33 am

Looks beautiful and a fun way to begin the week!


52 Meagan December 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I looked at that “herby caper chicken” and said out loud “oh that looks so good” – I’ve been craving some roast chicken lately and this is tantalizing me 😉


53 Julie December 20, 2011 at 10:40 pm

I am so happy to see another fun lunch! i cant believe it has been a year since your last one! Karen looks beautiful!(and so do u!) Enjoy the season!


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