Visitors to Casa Loma don’t normally get to wander around with drinks and food. As a museum and historic site, food is generally restricted to the basement cafe area. Yes, there have always been weddings and special events in a few of the larger rooms where it’s safe to have food in a seated environment, but food stations and samples throughout the castle? Unheard of.
You might have heard the name Pegasus Group before. They run a number of restaurants in the GTA, but their hospitality division, under Executive Chef Steffan Howard, also runs the food service at the Palais Royale and Casa Loma. This normally encompasses things like weddings and special events, but as part of Winterlicious, they turned the castle into a Medieval market place.
Staff wore Medieval costumes as they greeted guests at the door. From there we were handed maps and encouraged to explore.
The Great Hall was filled with a huge display of artisanal bread and infused oils featuring everything from truffles to flowers and spices, as well at baskets of dates and kumquats. Also in the Great Hall, a kale soup and a spicy squash soup were on offer to warm our winter-chilled bones.
Next door in Sir Henry Pellatt’s famous Library, Pegasus staff had set up a tavern area with drinks available and a large buffet area. Roast beef, suckling pig, spit roasted quail, and Cornish hen were accompanied by winter vegetables, stewed cabbage, casseroles and a variety of sauces.
In the Conservatory, jesters juggled various items, including swords, and two young girls offered song and dance performances while guests enjoyed coffee and tea with 3 different types of bread pudding.
From there guests could wander the castle until they found the hot apple cider and roll your own maple taffy station in the Smoking room.
And from Sir Henry’s study, guests could descend the secret staircase to a wine and cheese tasting set up in the castle’s wine cellar.
The evening’s events also included a small gift shop, wandering minstrels and a photo studio with a variety of Medieval costumes.
We had a great time and it was a lovely use of the space. Pegasus Group limited the event to 250 tickets so at no point were the food stations jam-packed. And the event was considered such a success that Casa Loma and Pegasus Hospitality Group will be offering Taste and Tour Tuesdays once a month. Starting March 1st and running on the first Tuesday of each month, they’ll be offering a $50 prix fixe sit down dinner and tour of the castle. Details can be found on the events section of the Casa Loma website.