Approached along a tree-lined drive, Boringdon Hall near Plymouth resembles a mini-castle with turrets, a minstrel’s gallery, moulded high ceilings and a welcoming fire. Stuffed with atmosphere, there’s a new spa, which I would like to investigate further…
The restaurant in the gallery upstairs was full, and the Grand Hall, where we sat for pre-dinner drinks, was indeed grand yet relaxing. The classical music playing was in keeping with the venue, where old oak pillars and beams were softened by luxurious, velvet-covered sofas.
The food was exquisite. The amuse bouche was served in a mini Kilner jar with three layers inside – the waiter mentioned that it was strong. It was delicious: there was a layer of pear compote and one of cheese panna cotta with chives.
I had the oh-so-tender pork belly with cassoulet as a starter. My husband had the veal sweetbreads with a Teriyaki chicken wing and mouli. Both dishes had a certain flair, so we were greatly looking forward to the rest of our meal.
I had the duck for main course. There were all manner of vegetables and surprises on my plate and I thoroughly enjoyed it. My husband chose the deer with beetroot – the meat was cooked perfectly, accompanied by a rich, dark sauce.
For dessert I chose the sugar tart. Served with apple sorbet and figs, it was like a caramel custard tart with a crème brûlée crust. My husband couldn’t decide, so he asked the waiter to bring “something good”. He wasn’t disappointed, being served a hazelnut praline with ‘forest floor’ – a decadent combination of chocolate, nuts and berry flavours.
There was a surprise in each dish. For example, my duck was served with a crispy, edible ‘cigar’. The Head Chef, Scott Paton, is certainly living up to his growing reputation – I don’t think it will be long before he becomes a household name – as the food the kitchen produced was so good.
We had the Jing tea ceremony after dessert (Moroccan Rose for me, Gunpowder for my other half). This was bit of theatre that we enjoyed immensely to end our remarkable culinary adventure.