On our first night we ate in the Fernery restaurant, we were set to have a five course tasting menu with a wine flight. Before we went in we tried The Grove’s version of a Martini, which was a very nice way to start the evening, it came with roasted salted almonds and lovely large green olives, which John enjoyed as he loves roasted almonds and green olives.
On the table was a personalised printed menu with our names printed on it and the date, which was a really nice touch making the evening a head even more special. Below are the canapés
The Amuse-bouche was Jerusalem Artichoke – dashi – cep. The artichoke was pureed and incased in a lovely pastry. The dashi which is a Japanese stocks and forms the base for miso soup, clear broth soup, noodle broth soup, etc. accompanied this.
The starter was chawanmushi – lobster – caviar. The creamed lobster mouse came in a pastry cup topped with caviar, it was delicious it was accompanied by the chawanmushi, which is a Japanese egg custard dish that is savory rather than sweet. It paired with a sparkling English wine from Kent.
This lovely first course was paired with this lovely Australian riesling wine from the Barossa Valley which is north of Adelaide. I had never came across this wine before so it was a real treat to try something new.
If the sommelier is any good the wine flight can be a real treat, other times is it can feel like a rip off, thankfully all the wines that we had were amazing. I checked out on the internet to find out more about this wine and at £21 plus per bottle, is it something that outside of our normal budget, but this was a special occasion and part of the wine flight and was lovely.
The fish course was sea bass – gnocchi – bouillabaisse
The wine chosen to accompany the fish dish was the Lismore The Age of Grace Viognier, which is a South African white wine. I can’t remember the year of it but it was delicious.
The meat dish was venison – blueberry – cabbage – mushroom
It was paired with a greek red wine Xinomavro , again this was a new wine for us. It is described as an amazing bouquet of wild leafy strawberries and redcurrants. Very light brick red colour. Eyes shut and you think of ripe pinot noir! The aromas are really varied and complex. Leaf, toast, damson plums.
For desert they served 72% Araguani – Blue Mountain – vanilla. Araguani is chocolate, but it is marketed as being made from rare Venezuelan cocoa beans, ARAGUANI 72% can be compared to great wines with high tannins and a long lasting finish on the palate. Very posh? Anyway it tasted nice.
This was paired with an Australian desert wine which my husband loved, but I found it too heavy, their website states that the age of the wine is 8-10 years, the classic range is all about freshness and varietal character balanced by subtle age complexity from time in barrel. It has mild amber with slight green highlights, the aroma shows a great depth of malt, treacle and preserved figs.