In an era where casual dining and lack of formality (whatsoever) seems commonplace, visiting Hambleton Hall felt like time-travel. I've been reading a few lifestyle blogs and books of late that bemoan the lost art of civilised dining. How often do you have your table perfectly laid, well presented and all your best crockery and cutlery out? Chances are, probably when you entertain? I must confess I've done my fair share of slobbery and we still sometimes choose to sit and eat in front of the television too. I have feeling that after our little visit to Hambleton Hall, all that is about to change.
I have to thank my friend Rosie for a) pointing out the lunch for less offer b) convincing Ed to actually go ( can you believe it!). Previously, thanks to various posh tales, I'd always envisaged the Hambleton Hall to be somewhere I'd fancy going for a glass of sparkling water due to its limited affordability. However, the lunch for less offer meant you got to actually have a proper two course meal for just £24 ( plus service tax)!! Assuming it was a winter offer, I quickly booked us in for Saturday lunch. I had to book about a month in advance. I now understand that the offer runs all year and gets slightly cheaper in winter.
On arrival, we were ushered into the drawing room where we ordered our pre-meal drinks and engaged in seemingly civilised talk (I was actually quietly telling off Ed for not dressing up enough). I'm usually over-dressed to most places but here, I just about fitted in. I will do a separate outfit post shortly. There were a couple of elderly couples and a small group of younger couples/friends sat around us in the drawing room. Everyone was dressed like they were going to a very fancy wedding. The couple that sat across from us were particularly cute as the gentleman treated his partner with such quaint and old-fashioned chivalry. We stayed in the drawing room for a while, consuming complimentary amsue bouche, sipping cocktails and pondering over menu choices. Eventually, we were escorted in to the dining area.
We chose from the set menu and opted out of starters. I ordered trout for my main course and Ed had lamb. Whilst the menu was unassuming, the food itself was pretty spectacular. The combination of exquisite flavours and textures plus the stunning presentation made our meal a phenomenal experience. Ed and I like fine dining and have been to plenty of fancy restaurants but this place was rather special. Just when we were thinking it couldn't get better, our desserts arrived. My apple crumble souffle with a dessicated slice of apple was otherworldly. Ed's cheesecake was simply spectacular looking and tasty too. Also, in between courses, the young waiter attending to us combed our table with a silver crumber. Clearly, attention to detail is all important at Hambleton Hall.
To finish off our fabulous meal, we ordered a cafetiere of freshly ground coffee. The coffee aromatic and delicious and accompanied by a tray of dainty macarons, jellies and chocolate. I was particularly taken by the mango jelly topped with popping candy. Mentally, I started re-creating a grape version of the jelly with our allotment bounty from last summer. Ed and I went for a little stroll around Hambleton Hall before heading back home. I will do another outfit post including some of Ed's lovely photos of the gardens shortly. I can't wait to go back to Hambleton Hall again, hopefully in the summer.
Have you had a fabulous meal recently? Or have you been inspired by an exquisite recipe or image you've seen somewhere? I'd love to hear. Ann x
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