So by now I guess you guys would have guessed that me and Liam love food and testing out different restaurants to find the most amazing meals, well this time we have come to the Essebourne Manor in Hampshire to have their delicious 7 course tasting menu. There are so many Hampshire restaurants and many of them are so yummy that I feel very lucky to have such delicious eateries minutes away from my house!
Originally we were planning to simply find a place to eat on a lazy Monday night, and I think it was a Bank Holiday too so we wanted to do something nice before returning to the pleasant life of work - so Liam chose Essebourne Manor. I didn't know much about the place, mostly that people get married there and it's very nice - but I've none of my friends nor family had eaten there before, so I couldn't get a reccomendation.
The grounds themselves are beautiful - Essebourne Manor is closely located to Highclere Castle which is where Downton Abbey is filmed, so you can imagine the picturesque scenery. Inside, the restaurant is cosy and welcoming. We sat down for a glass of prosecco in the waiting area and whilst browsing through the menu we were greeted by a selection of starter tasters which included whitebait and lemon mayonnaise, soft cheese and shortbread and a beef variety (I was so into my food that I kind of forgot what the waiter said I was eating... oops!)
We noticed there was a tasting menu, and seeing as neither Liam nor I had ever tried a tasting menu before we chose it - proved to be the most popular choice of the night as 5 of the 6 tables around us had chosen the same! The 7 course menu comprised of:
- Pork brawn, Dorset snail, parsley and shallot
- Ox cheek, kipper, mussels and sea herbs
- Smoked sea trout, Asian salad and miso soup
- Broccoli, duck, blue cheese
- Ras el Hanout lamb, goats curd and pistachio
- Honey, milk curd, flowers and mustard
- Rhubard, sorrel and gingerbread
- Coffee / tea with petit fours
All of these beautiful dishes you can see in the photos above, and they were beautiful. The first dish was one of my favourites - as long as you don't mind snails (which I know a few people do, but they're delicious!) There wasn't anything I didn't like - the combination of flavours worked so well, even the milk curd and mustard! There was also the blue cheese foam on the broccoli which was different, but tasted delicious. And the sorrel - I think we could both agree that it was one of the yummiest things we've ever eaten for dessert!
There was a lot of appreciation for the food around the room, and I would expect the chef received a number of compliments. The presentation, taste and uniqueness of dishes was faultless, and I would highly recommend Essebourne Manor for an evening meal out, perfect treat for celebrations! You can see from the photos that I started snapping in daylight, and by the end it darkness had fallen - it's a meal to enjoy with nice company and a lengthy conversation.