That's it then.
Christmas is all but done and we are now hurtling towards the dawn of a new decade, giving us but one year according to an aged scripture found in a forgotten Mayan city.
I was going to set myself new goals to achieve over the next five years, but I don't know if that would be of use!
Christmas was a mish-mash affair this year. Work wise we ended up with heavy booking losses, due to the un-charterable frozen countryside which happened to coincide with our busiest week and weekend (of course).
Christmas Day was a roaring success. The Customers gave glowing and head swelling reviews and thanks which is what we aim to achieve, there would be nothing worse than ruining a special family day. And we continue to reap in good numbers starting at breakfast and running through till close of day, so at least we are now sustaining a healthy finish to the month!
Looking to the future, I have started sorting the new Evening menu that will run for 3 weeks to entice our happy clientèle to sample our sexier food. This also helps create more recipes for my book that is waiting patiently to come into fruition, slipping into pages unmarked by ink to expand what is already in place like an evolving jigsaw puzzle.
Carparcio of Beef, timbale of Horseraddish Cous-cous, dressed with a Pea Shoot & Parmesan Salad. 5.75
Pan seared Dorset Scallops with Black Pudding and a honeyed Pea Puree. 5.95
Beetroot, Haricot, & Artichoke Salad with a Walnut & Orange Dressing. (V) (N) 4.95
For the Main Course
Bacon wrapped Breast of Free Range Chicken filled with Hogs Pudding, Pistachio & Coriander. Finished with a Thyme & Gin Butter Sauce. (N) 12.50
Tenderloin of Pork stuffed with Pear, Black Pudding & Candied Fig, with Bubble and Squeak and an Apple and Cinnamon Gravy. (G) 12.95
Pan Roasted Rump of Lamb, Smoked Bacon & Nutmeg Mash, and a Spiced Cherry & Port Sauce 15.95
Griddled Water Buffalo Steak steeped in Burrow Hill Cider& Mustard. Accompanied with a Stilton & Apple Frittata, Mushrooms, Pot Gravy and served with Buttered Peas & Baby Carrots. 16.25
Pan Roasted Fresh Sea Bream with wilted Spinach, Chestnut Mushrooms & Roasted Garlic. Served with a Saffron & Mussel stock and Beurre Noir. 13.95
Aubergine & Red Onion Parfait on a smoked Tomato & Basil Risotto Cake. Dressed with a Garlic & Red Pepper Coulis. Served with a Watercress & Olive Salad. (V) 10.25
(G) Contains Gluten (N) Contains Nuts (V) Suitable for Vegans
Still entertaining to the mind, warming to the heart and different enough to stand out in the crowd without going over board. Local produce as per usual play the important factor and it sits alongside the simple day classic menu to suit all pockets and taste buds.
I enjoy the creative aspect of menu writing, visualising the flavours and instinctively knowing whether it will work or not. Then releasing it on eager taste buds to get confirmation that all is good. I don't have anything against using pre-determined recipes found in books and online. They are obviously respected enough to be published...Hell, I want mine published and used by others. But I do prefer to get the grey matter revving, flicking through it's archives of listed ingredients and methods to present me with a challenge. Everybody should do it. It is, after all, what should be separating us from the nuclear time machine foodsters, or microwave technicians as they are more commonly known, as well as the very able home foodies.