When there is a chance to celebrate lots of wonderful food and drink from our shores you would be a fool to miss it. So, when The White Spoon in Cheltenham created an evening to do just this, we couldn't resist going along to try the stunning 6-course pairing menu on offer.
The White Spoon is a delightful restaurant hidden just off Clarence Street and is led by Chris White, Chef, director and a graduate from Heston Blumenthal's prestigious Fat Duck group which offers outstanding food, incredible service and a memorable and relaxed dining experience in a relaxed and unpretentious environment.
Not part of the Best of British menu was the Gin and Tonic we enjoyed before dinner. It was their own gin and distilled locally by Brennen & Brown and you could tell that a lot of time had gone into the flavours.
After the Plant Pot Bread (yes it was served in a terracotta plant pot) and delightful Applewood Smoked butter we enjoyed some Squid Ink Crackers and Pulled Pork Balls followed closely by a plate sporting a bright mix of Heritage Tomatoes, Strawberries, BlackTtea and a Prawn nestled in the middle. This was paired with a crisp Surgue Pierre Brut from the South Downs that boasted a hint of apple and lemon and worked perfectly with the dish.
Next up was Scallop, Pork Belly, Quail Egg and Asparagus. It was a delicious as it sounds and was the first real nod to Mr Blumenthal as an asparagus foam made its way onto the plate. This was paired with a New Hall Bacchus from one of the oldest and largest English Vineyards located in Essex and filled your mouth with subtle citrus notes. This wine is available on The White Spoon wine list!
The menu was getting better as English Rose Veal, Turnip and Pearl Barley was next to arrive. Surprisingly, this was paired with a Rocky Head Pale Ale which smelt as strong as it tasted and was full of flavour with hops being sourced from New Zealand and the USA. Did it work with the Veal? I found it slightly overpowering but both on their own were incredible.
Could this get any better? Yes it could as that wasn't even the main event. The next dish was all about local with Cotswold Lamb Neck, Sweetbreads and a Pea Summer Truffle pairing up with Ravens Hill, a stunning light red wine from the brilliant 3 Choirs Vineyard in Newent full of berry notes and a magical hint of vanilla and complimented the lamb perfectly.
Before pudding, we were given a palate cleanser. A wonderful iced foam gin and tonic which looked like something straight our of a chemistry lesson but again just reminded you of Chris White's past.
To finish we enjoyed Toffee Apple Custard and Ginger and some wonderful Somerset Royal Cider Brandy. Now for all you, like myself, who thought you needed to be over 65 to enjoy a glass of Brandy, I urge you to try this with your desert. It too had a delicious vanilla flavour running through and the kick of ginger from the ice cream was the perfect way to finish this unbelievable menu.
Check out what we drank!
The White Spoon www.thewhitespoon.co.uk
Sugrue Pierre www.sugruepierre.co.uk
New Hall Vineyard www.newhallwines.co.uk
Rocky Head www.londonbrewers.org/members/rocky-head
3 Choirs Vineyard www.three-choirs-vineyards.co.uk
Somerset Royal www.ciderbrandy.co.uk
Book a table at The White Spoon today - 01242 228 555
Ramblings from The Cotswolds Gentleman.