Monday, September 10, 2012

The Nairn book and arts festival Hog Roast finale - eye-witness accounts

One of our regular readers was at the Book and Arts Festival Chilli Pipers gig at the Newton last night and enjoyed the music but seems deeply disappointed with the hog roast, our correspondent sent the Gurn a few notes:

"Price £30 per head.  Festival Programme promotes “cabaret show to accompany hog roast buffet”, starting at 7.30pm.  Programme available on night has local singing group welcoming arrivals, local youth ceilidh band from around 8.00 to 9.30 and Chilli Pipers from 9.45 to 10.30 pm

Audience seated at tables in cabaret style arrangement.  Jugs of iced water on the tables.
Soft bap with some roast pork in it served at around 8.15 with dollop of coleslaw and salad garnish on plate to tables. 1 plate each.  All drinks extra

Notable numbers of audience visited the Newton’s bar and ordered chips, sandwiches etc.  One table alleged to have ordered a takeaway from Al Raj.  Fair number of grumpy comments.  Chilli Pipers came on at precisely 9.45 and stayed on through to nearly 11.15. All the music was good. The Chilli Pipers were BRILLIANT! OK that’s not a fact, it’s an opinion – but 95% of the audience was on its feet at the finale applauding etc.

So, what would you have imagined from the programme description? What d’you think a hog roast is? What would you expect for £30?"

Keen to further canvass opinion on the night this observer asked another festival goer who was also present at the final event of this year's programme for their thoughts: 

"On entering the function room around 8pm, waiters were dishing out plates with a roll on it and a little bit of side salad. First impression straight away not what we had expected for the price of the ticket! A hog roast dinner to us would imply a "hog" on a spit and freshly cooked slices of moist pork with crackling with plenty of apple sauce and side salad...option to have seconds as well. The roll was just your bog standard white roll, the pork was quite tough, no crackling to speak of and a small dessert bowl of apple sauce in the middle of the table for 9/10 folk. Not good enough."

Our second correspondent was also really pleased with the musical fare however: "The Chilli's were fab though. The set they played was appropriate for the venue, laying off some of the heavier/louder type drumming and opting for acoustic/softer type. The dance floor was indeed busy at the end of the night and everyone was on their feet for the encore mix of tracks. We Will Rock You does the trick every time I guess!
 Generally, would love to see more music played in a venue in Nairn but they didn't get it right on the food front, far too basic and not what the audience were expecting."

UPDATE 22.15: The Gurn learns this evening from a deeply disappointed Nairn Book and Arts festival spokesperson that they apologise to all concerned for the food provided, it wasn't what they expected, and they will be raising the matter with the hotel.

UPDATE 11th September 16.24: Gurn staff have seen a detailed complaint about the food provided at the event which is now on its way to the head of the hotel group concerned. We have also spoken to someone else who attended the gig and was so underwhelmed with the hog roast that he had to have a bacon and egg roll when he went home.


Anonymous said...

A great pity that the organisers didn't get this event right. It appealed (unlike much of the rest of the Book and Arts Festival) to many local people and it looked on paper as though it would be an excellent event. At least it sounds as though the Chilli's were good, but £30 was too much money for me to attend

Graisg said...

@NBAF - if you are from that organisation please e-mail the Gurn.

Anonymous said...

You would have thought that both the B&A Festival Committee & The Newton Hotel Management would when this event was at the early stages of organising that they would have both discussed costs etc etc & what the Hog Roast consisted off & what the patrons would receive on their plate for the price agreed, sorry to rant on but another bee in my bonnet was at the festival opening evening featuring Kate Adie for the first fifteen minutes the sound quality was absolutely appalling with feedback & crackling from the small mobile mikes which was eventually rectified when Miss Adie was presented with a hand held microphone which vastly improved the sound quality, but on the bright side as a regular at The Festivals i would say this years programme has to be in my opinion the best ever & big round of applause must go to to those hard working soles who have to organise things, looking forward to next years Fest but please please make sure there is proper sound checks before each event starts, also it would be wise if at any future event where food is includes in the ticket price it states clearly what will be served up on your plate.