Delegates dine on British venison

Delegates dined on venison from Queen Elizabeth’s Balmoral estate at the state banquet held in honour of Chinese president Xi Jinping.
Guests including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke of York and Princess Anne were treated to an inventive three course menu, starting with West Coast turbot with a lobster mousse.
For their main dish, alongside the Balmoral venison, which was dressed in a madeira and truffle sauce, attendees were served cocotte potatoes, a side of braised red cabbage and a timbale of celeriac and butternut squash.
Their dessert was a dark chocolate delice with mango and lime and all the food was washed down with British, French and South African wine as well as Warre’s Vintage Port.
Meanwhile, preparations for the banquet had been going on for some weeks beforehand with George IV’s Grand Service cutlery set being unpacked in their temperature-controlled room before they are hand washed and polished individually.
The 175ft dining table took two days to be laid, with staff putting out over 1000 glasses and 2000 pieces of cutlery. Each place is also dressed with napkins embroidered with the Queen’s monogram.