To round off my gastro-tour of Scotland I had an obligatory trip to Edinburgh, which readers of the blog will know is one of my favourite cities to visit. Having made friends with fellow food blogger My Monkfish at last year’s My Home Supperclub I was keen for her to recommend to me some eateries for us to check out when we hit the Burgh.
Her first tip off was the brand spanking new Gardeners Cottage, which opened earlier this summer. Housed in (you guessed it) an ex-gardeners cottage within the Royal Terrace gardens on London road, it was a hop skip and a jump from where we staying in the Georgian New Town. Plus it had had a fairly decent review from the Guardian’s Jay Rayner the week before so we were happy to pop down for a feed. It’s run by Scottish chef friends Edward and Dale who have chefed in a number of famous Edinburgh eateries that include the Atrium, the Kitchin; as well working for Mark Hix in London.
I’ve recently been to Skye, which I guess isn’t the best tropical destination with which to round off a rubbish summer! However I’m a bit of a fan of the raw ruggedness of Scotland’s countryside and was keen to experience more of the beautiful highlands. We went for the week with my parents – who took a bit of convincing that it was the place to while away a week – until they twigged that the island is home to not one but two Michelin star restaurants, then we had them interested!
The island of Skye is a butterfly shaped piece of land which is joined to Kyle Lochalsh on the Scottish mainland by a small 90s bridge. One of the nice things about Skye is that even in the ‘large’ towns you still feel remote and isolated. Our first eating expedition was in the south of the island. Kinloch Lodge is a family run Michelin star restaurant and Conde Naste rated hotel. As we drove down a dirt track it was hard to believe that we were arriving at a venue of such high accolade! The restaurant itself felt like the Victorian home of a wealthy crofter, full of antiques and ancient family photos. The location was to die for as we were surrounded by hills and water and as the sun was setting it twinkled mysteriously for us.
Kinloch Lodge, Skye
There was no choice on the menu, although you could opt in and out of any of the courses. We went for the 6 course menu, leaving out the cheese and oatcakes. Canapes were served in the drawing room and were presented proudly in neat rows on a piece of local slate. The stand out bite for me was the simple yet tasty parmesan cracker topped with salty blue cheese mousse and crisp, clean green grape. Continue reading →
Yes, it’s only September but we’ve had an overwhelming influx of emails from our readers eager to experience Dinner at the Manor.
We’ve finally agreed on dates and themes for the first few events of 2013, so we wanted to share them with you as soon as possible! We’d love to know what you think. Click on the links below for more details on each event and how to book.
Expect to experience a delicious 7 course menu in a beautiful Victorian home. You’ll be dining with strangers who will seem like old friends by the end of the night! For more info take a look at our what you need to know page.
Saturday 16th March 2013 – Sorry this event is now fully booked
We adore Rachel Khoo and think her refreshing take on all things French brings traditional recipes bang up to date for the 21st Century! We held a private tea party based around her Little Paris Kitchen cookbook, but we really think that some of her dishes (that she tested by opening up her own supperclub) are gems we want to share!
Wow! What a year it has been. October 6th sees Dinner at the Manor celebrate our 1st birthday! When Dan and I began this little venture, we didn’t know what to expect – would anyone come? Would people enjoy the food? Would we enjoy it? Would we still be friends?!
12 months, 17 events and 231 guests fed, we’re still here and still enjoying ourselves.
We’ve created a menu which we think showcases some of the best things we think have cooked over the past 12 months. (Thanks to our blog readers for voting!). We’re looking forward to cooking these treats up again, and hope our guests are looking forward to trying them too! There will also be some surprise treats in store for our guests too, not mentioned on the menu, we want to keep some things secret!
We went all French and kooky this weekend when we held an afternoon tea inspired by Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen cookbook. This was a private event for a gaggle of hens who were celebrating the impending wedding of bride to be Lisa. Following a can can lesson in town they joined us for a selection of savouries and sweets washed down with teas, coffees and the obligatory kir royale. There was not a willy deelie-bopper in sight, and very well behaved they all were too!
This was a private event and we only do afternoon teas every now and then, on request. We like the fact that we can do far more in advance, plus it means we get to break away from the norm we have established with our usual Manor menus. We both love baking too, so it’s great to have a chance to challenge ourselves in this area.
Once again, we were without expert photographer Nick, however Susie did manage to take some snaps with her phone!
In terms of savouries we served up a range of treats inspired by Rachel’s book. I adapted the Nicoise wraps, stuffing the salad inside tortilla wraps instead of the suggested lettuce leaves, to make them a bit more substantial. I was impressed by the flavours of these – which consisted of sweet and crunchy green beans, radish, spring onion and tomatoes; piquant black olives and capers; and creamy free range egg – all bound together with a yummy red wine vinegar and lemon juice dressing. Atop homemade bread was a choice of radish with salted butter or a decadent fig, goat cheese and walnut option.
Susie’s offerings included gigantic platters of roasted root veg (including carrots, parsnips beetroot and apple). This was accompanied by a luxurious and creamy goats cheese mousse and was a popular addition to the table – only a few smears of beetroot and mousse were left! Susie also adapted the croque madame muffin recipe, making mini little bites of loveliness from quail eggs.
We took an impromptu trip to the Yorkshire Wolds last bank holiday weekend. I was drawn in by the Hockney paintings and features on Countryfile. We decided that we’d tackle the awful weather by cheering ourselves up with some lovely countryside and top food.
We were staying not too far from the pleasant town of Beverley so a trip to the Michelin starred Pipe and Glass was obligatory. Because it was a bank holiday weekend the gastro pub had very odd opening hours, meaning we could only go at lunchtime. This was fine, however our Bed and breakfast (the very glamorous Kilham Hall) served one of the most tasty and substantial breakfasts I have experienced in a long time so I was not entirely sure that I was ready for yet more rich food. You’ll be pleased to know that I soldiered on!