Sunday, 07 August 2022

‘Great expectations’ were more than met

A STUNNING setting, fantastic food and incredible hospitality are the recipe for an amazing luncheon, writes

A STUNNING setting, fantastic food and incredible hospitality are the recipe for an amazing luncheon, writes Katie Thomas.

With a warm welcome came a selection of drinks and canapés from the expert hands of Shaun Dickens and his brilliant team.

Sitting at a beautiful table with my colleague the misty river was a perfect backdrop for a great catch-up — and culinary exploration.

After our canapés, perfectly tailored to both the vegetarian and the omnivore, we enjoyed the warm buckwheat and treacle bread that had arrived a little earlier, with a delectable rosemary butter.

Starters (with a perfect choice of wine) were torched salmon with watermelon, honey, granola and yoghurt, and an equally fabulous seasonal pumpkin option for myself. My colleague’s cod main melted on the tongue, and my carrot main was unlike anything I had tried before. The carrot butter complemented the texture of the cream cheese-filled pancakes beautifully.

The welcome addition of the curry added an extra dimension that I would never have chosen but which worked perfectly.

With plates cleaned once again, the prix dessert was far more than a palate cleanser, with a mix of flavours to dance on the tongue.

At this stage, we were almost grateful to have not chosen the seven-course taster menu equivalent (well, maybe not!) due to the abundance of fresh ingredients that we had already been treated to in ample portions.

We decided to sample both the apple and chocolate desserts — not to be greedy you understand, but in order to get another one of our five a day! Both were utterly delectable but the caramelised elements complemented the darkness of the high quality chocolate beautifully. The presentation, flavours and combinations of food really were supreme — and an absolute joy to sample.

It is very clear how Shaun Dickens has such a fantastic reputation, and his skills are shown off beautifully in his first restaurant.

It genuinely is a venue to be very, very proud of — and one that we will certainly be returning to at the earliest opportunity possible.

Thank you Shaun and team for a wonderful experience, and opening our eyes to a sublime restaurant on our doorstep.

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