This month berries and game meats were two of the key tastes incorporated into the seasonal dishes. I tried duck and pheasant, plus venison - two dishes I can honestly say I'd deter from ordering in a restaurant, but I gave them a go and maybe my opinion has changed slightly since then...
We were welcomed with a glass of fizz and some seasonal canapes. I'd love to say I remember what they all are, but unfortunately I don't! The little sausage roll one was my favourite though and the apple sauce dip really complimented the flavour.
Next up we had mushroom soup with a bread/cheese/ball thing. I'm feeling like I should've taken notes - though I did take a photo of the menu and that doesn't even say what it was. I'll try and find out. Either way it was good. The mushroom soup, despite being something I wouldn't typically order had a good flavour and was just creamy enough. Can I say it looked cute too, I mean it was served in a mini teacup.
Course three featured Duck and Pheasant Rillettes with onion jam, celariac, pear and hazelnuts. The crisp pear sauce and hazelnuts worked well with the gamey flavour. I was a bit apprehensive about this course, but the flavours worked well and weren't too strong. I thought game might be a bit too rich and I think duck is quite a rich meat too, so the light texture of the rillettes (bit like paté) was surprisingly nice.
Following that we had an Autumn Squash Salad with goats curd, beetroot and walnut. If this was a starter in a restaurant, I'd be very tempted to order it. The cheese flavour with beetroot and walnut worked really well. I don't remember what that sauce was, but it was lovely!
The 'main' dish - if you can call it that when there's seven, featured Venison, pancetta, cauliflower, blackberries, onion, mushroom and a red wine sauce. The meat was soft, tender and juicy. the blackberries added a tang to the plate and really complimented the venison. Again, this was something I'd never tried before and as much as I can appreciate a good steak, I tend to opt for lighter meat when I'm out; usually chicken!
Two desserts followed. First up, the pre-dessert, Buttermilk Pannacotta which I think I devoured in a matter of seconds. A light, creamy texture with zingy bilberries and a crunchy topping. I can take my time on the savoury dishes but I always have room for dessert it seems. The Dark Chocolate Pavé with black cherry sorbet and Pistachio ice cream was absolutely incredible. Dense, rich chocolate mixed with the lighter texture of the sorbet and ice cream was such a good combination. The honeycomb leaves added an extra crunchy texture and I think it may have been the highlight of the whole showcase for me!