Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Elephant

The Elephant

(Salad of smoked salmon with pickled fennel and lovage emulsion)

(Southdown Farm belly pork, mash potato, confit young carrot, asparagus)

(Vanilla creme brulee with lemon meringue sorbet)

First of all apologies for the poor quality photos as I only used my iPhone to take these since taking a massive camera out was just too much hassle.
Secondly, these are what I ate when we visited the Elephant a few weeks ago. We dined at the brasserie of the Elephant since the actual Michelin starred restaurant part of the Elephant which they call 'The Room' was shut for the winter season since the restaurant sources most of it's ingredients from their farm.

In the brasserie we were given the set lunch menu with 2 options from each course and the menu having the standard 3 course.
From the first course I chose the smoked salmon salad as I'm not a big fan of goats cheese and it was a great start to the meal. The presentation was perfect from every detail and the dish was tasty as expected although the emulsion wasn't as strong flavoured as I thought and therefore soon after was just forgettable for me. The textures worked really well with the flaky soft salmon and the crunchy radish and the herbs to just add that nibbly chewing needed.
For the main dish, the majority of the group chose the pork dish and I'm not surprised we did. The pork was very tender juxtaposed with the crispy and hard crackling paired with a smooth and creamy piping of mash potato and those baby carrots that have been confit(ed) so it tasted even more amazing and of course the asparagus shavings was just a nice 'to top it all off'. The jus was also rich and flavoursome as it should be.
Finally, to finish of the meal, I chose to have the creme brulee with lemon meringue sorbet. The creme brulee was perfect, the lemon meringue sorbet was also perfect although I just don't find them working together. The sorbet seemed like a pre-dessert which was decided to be placed along with the dessert itself and that's how I ate it, separately.

Overall the meal was lovely and a really nice taste as to what else the Elephant can offer since if that's just their set brasserie menu then the whole brasserie menu and the Michelin 'Room' holds much expectation.

The Elephant's Farm

The Elephant's Farm

A few weeks ago, me and my class were given the opportunity to visit the private farm of the Elephant; a Michelin starred (and the only one in it's area) restaurant in Torquay, Devon. After a 1 hour drive from our college we finally arrived.
We were greeted with the funny sign (pictured above) stating: 'CAUTION: Free range children and animals..' which I thought was quite funny so I just had to take a picture. I think every household with kids and pets should have one of these by the gates. 
We were then met with the owner and head chef himself Simon Hulstone who showed and told us more about the farm and how it contributes to his Michelin starred restaurant.

I have never actually been to an English farm so seeing where and how things are grown was quite interesting. There of course wasn't much produce just yet as planting season was just starting but we did get to see some of the microherbs, herbs and flowers in the high tunnels. 
The thing I was most in awe from the farm visit was seeing the herding dog herd the sheep from down the hill bringing them all up to where we were up top of the hill. The trainer/farmer was there to give sound commands to the dog and it was amazing to see how well trained the dog is knowing what each sound and even the words 'Stop' and 'Look Away' means, it's really amazing.

It was a very windy day too once we got to the hill with nothing but just grass and sea and more greenery farm in front of us. The sea was visible from the farm and it is really nearby as expected with Torquay being a seaside town. It was such a lovely view from the hill.

After the trip, we drove down to the main town to eat lunch at the the Elephant's brasserie restaurant and of course I took pictures, actually we all did since the food looked so delicious and of course tasted amazing even though it was just their brasserie. I shall post those and tell you more about it on the post.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Old Bridge House

Old Bridge House

Greeted by these lovely flowers and super cute door stopper as we got in OBH

Clean and cosy dining areas for breakfast in this B&B; some in the main dining area, some in the outer conservatory looking out to the estuary/river view

Open bar in the guest lounge

Rivercroft restaurant across ODH at the other side of the bridge

The reception decoration changed from flowers to Easter tree

View from ODH

Door numbers and knockers for the rooms

Just this past weekend, myself and my family drove down to the south of England to Looe, Cornwall where we stayed for 2 nights. We stayed at the Old Bridge House Bed and Breakfast and it was just an exceptional  place and time spent and here's why:

First of all, we were greeted in the reception with the lovely homely atmosphere that one would normally get as a house guest and were greeted by one of the lovely elderly couple who owns the place.
He showed us quickly around the dining and guest areas where he said the open bar in the guest area is open for everyone of legal age to just take their alcohol of choice and write down the quantity and name of the drink on their 'honesty book' and it will then be charged to the room at the end of the stay; which my parents thought the book's title couldn't be more accurate since you have to be honest indeed.

We were then showed to our room which was nice and cosy with everything required available to us in the confines of the 4 corners of that space. There was a kettle, cups and tea/coffee/hot chocolate and even Horlicks and biscuits for the guest to help themselves with. There's  TV for entertainment with a range of free view channels, a nice and clean toilet and shower with tiny bottles of toiletries provided and even a hair dryer  in one of the drawers in the room. 

Then of course, there's the comfy bed and delicious food. The breakfast choices ranging from 3 different choices of: Cornish breakfast (similar to English with the exception of black pudding and instead replaced with home-made sausage), Fish (haddock) or croissant; although I'm sure the fish and croissant is more than just that I just can't remember what they came with.

In the dining area, there is a variety of cereals to choose from for breakfast as well to start with before the main breakfast and also some fresh fruit, some fresh orange juice or other flavoured bottled juice, tea and coffee.

In our 2 days of stay, we had the Cornish breakfast and I must say that it was definitely good and the home-made sausage is definitely a winner in that breakfast. The breakfast set had a large thick bacon, almost like a gammon, a nice big and fat sausage, baked beans, egg, grilled tomato, mushrooms and toast; although the accommodation also lets you choose whether you want certain pieces in the breakfast or not and whether you prefer fried, poached or scrambled egg (this sheet is available in the room and just needs to be handed in to the reception before tomorrow's breakfast.)

The Old Bridge House is located right in front of the River Nith, which meets the sea further down South of Cornwall. The view, as my sister said is just like Venice (as she's been before) without the sun, with the boats, sea gulls and the water and the bridge and the house on the hills; they all just form a magnificent, picturesque scenery, which is the view from ODH. 

There are also shops across the road such as boots and many more like clothes shop, food shop, take aways and even restaurant such as the Rivercroft, which we dined in the first night, all across the bridge from the B&B and all accessible by walking. 

The Old Bridge House is a really comfy and homely place with the highest hospitality from Colin and Liz who both run the place. From the amazing location to the amazing food to the amazing welcome and farewell; the Old Bridge House is definitely a recommended place to stay at when down in Cornwall or even when just in England.  Visit Cornwall and stay here since there's a range of things to do, there's a zoo, amusement park, waterparks and many more. 

Disclaimer: This review is of my own opinions and I am not being sponsored/paid for this post. The travel, accommodation and food were all paid for by my parents.


Blogging tips