16 October, 2014

Review: Ox Pasture Hall - Fine Dining & A Hearty Breakfast - Part 2

I knew from the get go, we were in for a treat. Having viewed the menu in advance, I was excited. Robert and I have been to our share of fancy restaurants over the years, some with the pretense and glamour of a Michelin star but the Ox Pasture Hall menu proved to be a culinary gem, set deep in the heart of the countryside. Their menu looked well thought out, serving foods in season and it read mouth watering-ly delicious. 

Their courtyard restaurant is simple, yet pretty and the waiting staff quickly attended to us both, ensuring we felt more than welcome. Within minutes of being seated we received an extensive wine menu. We opted for a Pinot Grigio, a firm favourite among the two of us. Browsing through the menu, there was more than one starter I wanted to try so Robert and I made a truce of opting to pick something each so that we could try each others.

Robert selected the Yorkshire Coast Fishcake with pea puree and a soft poached egg, while I chose a duck starter which included a Confit Duck Salad, Duck Liver Parfait and Cherry Sorbet. On receiving our starters, we were struck by the finesse with which it was assembled. Presented to perfection, it seemed almost a shame to get stuck in, but we did. There were not enough complimentary adjectives to describe how delicious my food tasted. The marriage of duck and cherry a perfect one and the entire dish so more-ish and perfectly executed, I could have eaten it twice over.

Roberts starter looking just as appetizing, tasted delicious The fishcake, not one bit overcooked tasted sweet and wholesome and was complimented by some beautiful green pea puree and the perfect poached egg which proved to be runny when dived into. Poached eggs in particular are a favourite among the two of us and a perfect poached egg is often hard to master.

For our mains, I opted to chose a lighter meal and selected Oven Roasted Cod with Chorizo Ratatouille, fondant potatoes and red pepper coulis. Robert chose the beef which was composed of a mini Beef Fillet, tender Brisket of Beef, creamed mashed potato, a mushroom duxelle, baby turnip and carrot. Again, the presentation of each meal was faultless. Just like Roberts fishcake, my fish mains was cooked to perfection, breaking away with each mouthful and poke of a fork. The chorizo and red pepper coulis added a bit of spice and kick, nothing overpowering, just complimentary.

Robert requested his beef to be cooked medium rare and it was cooked just as he likes it and just as requested. Upon tasting his, I was a little jealous I didn't choose it myself. It was delicious, absolutely delicious. The beef fillet and brisket were full of flavour and very tender. The creamed mashed potato was the stuff dreams are made of and the mini vegetables tasted amazing in their own right. Between the starters and mains, the flavours from each meal were simply stunning and a real treat for us to both enjoy with Robert commenting that the beef was probably one of the nicest he had ever tried.

No meal is complete without dessert and while I initially looked through the menu I spotted a creme brulee, but no ordinary brulee a raspberry one. I decided to give it a whirl. The raspberry creme brulee arrived bright and pink with a mini raspberry milkshake on the side and a lovely crumbling shortbread biscuit. Initially I found the dessert to be very sweet, but none the less I really enjoyed it. Robert found himself ducking into it on more than one occasion. For his dessert, he picked the Caribbean cocktail. A mini selection of desserts, he was gifted with a coconut panacotta, mango rice pudding, passion-fruit sorbet and a mini pina colada. It looked like a party on a plate, full  of sunshine with each element tasting as sweet and fruity as the next.

The service from all the waiting staff that evening (with another special mention for Alan!) was excellent. Tentative but not overbearing, all members of staff ensured that not just Robert and I, but that all guests that evening were very well looked after. With full and happy bellies, we made our way back to our room to dive into that king size bed for a night of deep sleep.

In the morning, we woke up slowly, as you do on a lazy Saturday. Making our way to breakfast, the morning presented us with the most beautiful light frost and sunshine. A perfect, crisp autumn day showing Ox Pasture Hall in the most amazing light. Breakfast was served in the same venue as the night before and we tucked into the usual spread of cereal, fruits, pastries and juices before both ordering a full Yorkshire English.

Our waitress for the morning brought us some hot tea and a selection of toast and I was more than a little excited to try the mini pots of jam and honey left on our table. I don't know what it is, but I have a soft spot for those little pots and combined with some butter and a croissant and its a little piece of weekend heaven. Our hot breakfasts arrived and choosing poached eggs to accompany our breakfast, it was hearty, hot and perfect to fuel us for the day ahead. The black pudding in particular was some of the nicest I personally had ever tasted and dipped into my gooey eggs, I was one happy lady.

One of the loveliest aspects of our breakfast was enjoying it in some bright autumnal sunshine, watching the last of the frost glistening on the grass, drinking deep into our cups of tea and consuming all the colours of the outdoors. The final part of our stay and review shares the gorgeousness of the scenery and the preparations in progress we viewed for a wedding taking place later that day! We also took the opportunity, given the perfectness of the morning, to take an extensive walk of their grounds. Trust me, I never felt so camera happy.

The meals supplied on the evening and morning were provided and paid for by Ox Pasture Hall. An invite to stay and dine does not always result in a positive review, however on this occasion I was more than happy with the meals and food supplied and service received and I would be happy to return to Ox Pasture Hall for a paid stay.

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