Our Christmas Treat U.K.

Joined Feb 4, 2001
I'm often disappointed by the offerings of 'good' restaurants. After all, as a chef/restauranteur I'm looking for something 'better' than that which I produce myself. It's hard to pin down those things that make a meal memorable but our little treat to ourselves on Boxing Day (26th Dec) will be remembered for some time.
Venue: Hambleton Hall, Hambleton, by Rutland Water, Liecestershire, U.K.
A large country house overlooking the lake stuffed full of antiques and comfort.
Menu: *** our choices
Hambletons Mixed Salad
*** Roasted Skye Scallops with Creamed Endive and Pea Puree
*** Mosaic of Chicken, Veal Sweetbreads and Foie Gras
Salad of Crab, Avocado, Green Beans and Tomato
***Troncon of Turbot with Tomato and Asparagus Risotto and Clams
*** Roasted Loin of Fallow Venison with Celeriac, caramelised Endive and a Chocolate flavoured Jus
Honey Roasted Breast of Goosnargh Duck with a little pie of it's leg meat with an orange and ginger sauce
French Partridge with cepes, Sauternes and Grapefruit Jus
Selection of Sorbets with wafer thin crisp Fruits
Caramelised Lemon Tart with poached Rhubarb
*** Hot Passionfruit Souflee with it's own Sorbet
Pear Pain Perdu with Caramel Ice Cream

Tartare of Salmon with Soused Cucumber
Roasted Pheasant with caramelised Endive, fondant vegetables and a thyme and garlic sauce
*** Banana Souflee with Pistachio Ice Cream

CHEF Arron Patterson

Typing this in I reflected that it may not seem particularly outstanding at first glance. Now I'm a great believer in keeping things simple enough to get it right and elaborate enough to be interesting. Chef Simpson has this spot on. I had only the smallest of comments. The celeriac with my venison amounted to about a teaspoonful. Perhaps they were running out?

Now the good bit.
With a couple of pre-lunch drinks, a £24 bottle of wine, 2 Water at £3 each and one coffee, we notched up a bill of £195.00, add the tip and we sunk £210.00 on one lunch. It was worth it. Last years treat cost us £150 and we were not happy.

Anybody touring around the middle of the U.K. might like to stop in. It's about the only reason I know to go to Rutland. They do a 2 course lunch for about £16.00 which we will try in the spring.

I checked Arron Patterson out on the Web and to my surprise there are two! There's another working as executive Chef in North Carolina. Amazing.......

Dave Warne
Joined Jan 5, 2001
Thanks for the review Dave. From my experience, it is more rewarding and enjoyable to discover these regional gems in the middle of nowhere than it is to get a reservation at a Michelin 3 star. Nothing like it!

Just curious: how would you describe Goosnargh Duck?
Joined May 26, 2001
Yes, thanks for the review, and for the entire listing. It looks as though Chef Patterson (UK) really understands how to use flavor contrasts without overloading the plate. That scallop dish sounds fabulous -- sweet scallops, bitter endive, vegetal peas -- YUM!

If you don't mind telling, how was the chocolate used in the venison jus?
Joined Aug 11, 2000
little pie of duck leg with orange and ginger got me....sounds like my kinda food....2 lbs to a dollar? or $420 for 2....$6 for a glass of water? is my math in order?
Joined Aug 29, 2000
The current exchange rate for a British Pound is about $1.60 US. That would convert to $336 US for the meal. A princely sum for a sumptuous meal!
Joined Feb 4, 2001

On the subject of Goosenargh Ducks, I found little on the Net to help me. By chance, reading a recent cookery book purchase over a cup of coffee, I find the answer. The book is Rhubarb & Black Pudding, a biography/cookbook from Paul Heathcote, of whom there is plenty on the Net. (It seems) The ducks are so called because they come from Goosenargh Farm. This is pronounced in the North of England as Gooozna. The breed is a cross between Aylesbury and Pekin and was the result of a collaboration by Paul and the breeder. I've yet to taste one.

Next Question.
The chocolate in the jus is there to give body and colour. The flavour doen't come through and the quantity must be tiny. This is also the case with the Saddle of Hare with Chocolate Sauce that was popular 10 yrs ago. I actually served this in my restaurant. I don't do hares any more as I came too close to one on a starry night and think they are just too beautiful. They are, unfortunately, much more destructive than rabbits, on a one to one basis.


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