THE world of wine-making might be their first love, but the team behind the Woody Nook at Woodcote are no
THE world of wine-making might be their first love, but the team behind the Woody Nook at Woodcote are no slouches in the kitchen.
Founded seven years ago by Jane and Peter Bailey as an outlet for their Woody Nook vineyard in Australia, the restaurant offers a perfect partnership of hearty food and great wines to match.
My partner and I were greeted on arrival by charming and knowledgeable maitre d’ Michel Rosso, who advised us to start our evening with a glass of Woody Nook’s Kelly’s Delight.
A light, summery and highly drinkable Semillon-Sauvignon blend with subtle hints of elderflower, it left behind a crisp, clean aftertaste.
It also slipped down alarmingly quickly, leaving us grateful to receive our starters in good time.
I opted for a creamy chicken liver parfait, which arrived with a generous dollop of red onion jam, while my partner ordered the more adventurous kangaroo kofte kebab.
The latter proved a particularly wise choice, with the dark and gamey meat neatly offset by light spices and a minty yoghurt dip.
At Monsieur Rosso’s recommendation, these were accompanied by Woody Nook’s sweet yet oaky 2011 Chardonnay. My main course was a decent-sized swordfish steak drizzled with a delicate salsa of samphire, mango and pineapple.
Although the outside was lightly seared and cracked satisfyingly under the fork, the inside remained moist and succulent.
This was matched with Woody Nook’s Cabernet Sauvignon, a smooth yet full-bodied 2008 red that paired well with the fish’s more subtle flavour.
Judging by the menu, this is a Woody Nook speciality all kinds of seafood dishes abound, from pan-fried Cornish cod fillet to more exotic fare like barramundi.We ordered all our food from the house dinner menu, which at £18.95 for two courses offers incredible value for money, but fish also features prominently on the specials board.
However, it’s not the only feather in their cap. As my partner’s delicious main course of roasted lamb rump with black pudding and bacon proved, there’s plenty to satisfy committed carnivores.
We opted to add a third course to our meal, which for an extra £6.75 was more than reasonable.
I finished my dinner with creme brulee and a scoop of rum and raisin ice cream, accompanied by an appropriately sweet Nooky Delight port. Throughout the evening, we were impressed by the friendly, attentive service and struck by how many customers appeared to be regulars.
The Woody Nook’s charm is further enhanced by its setting, a cosy and unpretentious building with an outdoor area overlooking the village green.
It’s clearly an establishment that inspires loyalty in its clientele and after such an enjoyable visit, it hardly seems surprising.
Those looking to sample its charms on a budget can also take advantage of its Super Summer Saturdays offer, which runs until the end of August.
Priced at £19.95 for adults and half that for children, it includes a four-course meal with a different selection of foods each week. It runs from midday until 3pm.
For more information, visit www.woodynookatwoodcote.co.uk or ring (01491) 680775.