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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Chesil Rectory

I couldn't possibly write up my birthday without dedicating a whole post to dinner.

M chose apparently the UK's '3rd most romantic restaurant', the Chesil Rectory in Winchester. I'm always intrigued by these accolades - when do they decide to stop rating the most romantic restaurant - is it at the 5th or is there a restaurant somewhere out there declaiming that they are Britain's 67th most romantic restaurant?

Happily, he didn't just pick the Chesil Rectory based on that accolade, but thoroughly did his research on Trip Advisor and saw that it was exceptionally highly rated.

On Friday night, we slowly wandered across to the Rectory from our accommodation at the Wykeham Arms, loving the warm spring evening, and taking in the historical delights of Winchester. We took the opportunity to get a couple of photos of the two of us. That's the problem when there's only two of you. There are so rarely photos with both of us in it and for once I was determined to get a nice one this time. We were slightly interrupted by this guy who decided to join us in the picture.

On to dinner. On entering the Chesil Rectory, I immediately saw how it had achieved its romantic tag. It's a beautiful old beamed building with tiny rooms lit by candle light. We were shown to our table and I eagerly examined the menu.

I really don't think that the Chesil Rectory does itself justice with how it describes the food on its menu. Food which appears pretty ordinary from the menu - in a fine dining kind of way - in reality is from far from that.

Every single course was expertly executed and presented. Apologies in advance for the dreadful photography, it was a struggle in the low light.

We began proceedings with bread and accompaniments: dukka, rapeseed oil and butter

We both started with pigeon, candied walnuts (my absolute favourite), endive and pickled mushrooms. One of the best starters I've ever had.

I wanted something lighter for my main and chose spinach and sun blush tomato rotolo which the excellent and highly knowledgeable waitress informed me was a panfried fresh pasta sheet rolled up and stuffed full of spinach and tomato accompanied by goat's cheese and pine nuts. This really was a revelation.

M was equally impressed with his choice, Skrei cod. Having read an article recently about this sustainable Norwegian cod he was very impressed to see it on the menu. Apparently it was delicious.

On to the best part of meal, pudding. A fresh, light lemon jelly and an apple tart with salted caramel sauce and calvados ice cream (where has this been all my life?). We treated ourselves to some pudding wine in the form of a Riesling.

After ending our dinner with coffee and petit fours, we literally rolled ourselves home back to the Wykeham Arms.

If I had one suggestion for an improvement the Chesil Rectory could make, it would be that they re-examine their music selection which was incredibly random and didn't really fit into the general ambiance of the restaurant.

Ignoring suspect music choices, however, the Chesil Rectory was a wonderful choice for a celebration meal. Thank you so much, M.

1 comment:

  1. Happy birthday! The food looks amazing and the outside photo of the restaurant is beautiful Such a charming little place!

    Emily | HONEY LOAF x