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Hever Castle hosts semi-final of MasterChef

The kitchens of Hever Castle in Kent were taken over by MasterChef for the second part of the semi-final, broadcast on BBC One on Thursday 8th May. The former home of Anne Boleyn was considered a suitable venue to host a sumptuous banquet celebrating the series’ 10th anniversary.

An impressive 4.78 million viewers tuned in to watch the five remaining contestants cook a fine dining, six course tasting menu which was served in the Castle Dining Room. Chief Executive, Duncan Leslie, and his wife Celine, hosted the meal for three eminent historians and authors: Mary Beard, Terry Deary and Lucy Worsley.

Filming took place last December on the coldest, wettest day of the year. As Hever Castle was in the middle of its busy Christmas season, preparations included clearing out Christmas trees and decorations from the Castle rooms where filming would take place.

Guests and presenters, John Torode and Gregg Wallace, along with members of the film crew stayed overnight in the Castle’s luxury B&B accommodation. The contestants arrived at 8.30am and filming continued throughout the day till 10.00pm.

Ping, Michael, Luke, Angela and Jack were given four hours to prepare their individual courses designed by top British chef, John Campbell. As the first course was about to be served, Duncan Leslie quipped: “I daresay in years gone past it wouldn’t be unheard of to cut someone’s head off if they didn’t get it right. Hopefully we can avoid the gallows tonight.” Fortunately the guests voted the meal a gastronomic success worthy of a royal celebration.

Hever Castle has been the seat of sumptuous hospitality since Tudor times. With its winning combination of heritage, location and unrivalled service, the historic venue is available for all types of events, from residential conferences and business meetings to weddings, fine dining and private celebrations.

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