Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The English Country - Cotswolds

On our second day in the beautiful Cotswolds, we visited several towns and villages and decided to have English cream tea in one of the many tea shops in Stow on the Wold.

St Edwards Hall, Stow on the Wold

After a big English breakfast at the hotel, we decided to have a light lunch. So we went to one of the many tearooms/coffee-shops in the village to have a proper English tea.

Egg and Watercress Sandwich

The egg and watercress sandwich I had was delightfully light and tasty. The egg was well boiled, seasoned and creamy with mayonnaise.

Scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam

The fruit scones were nicely baked, risen well and warm with sweet fruits dotted through them. A big slab of clotted cream and a big slab of strawberry jam on the scones was just simply delicious! That's what I like about English afternoon tea.

Stow on the Wold

Then we went visiting a fairy-tale like, pretty village called Lower Slaughter, which is part of The Slaughters in Cotswolds. We also visited Bourton on the Water, which is next to The Slaughters. Another beautiful town with lots to see like the Birdsland, a perfumery museum and a motor museum.

Then it was time to feed ourselves again and we went to this very nice country pub restaurant in Chipping Norton.

The Masons Arms

The Masons Arms (recommended by The Good Food Guide) looked everything like an average pub, but it also offers a very beautiful room for fine dining next to the bar.

A very warm and inviting place with a nice ambience.

To start......

Basil Gnocchi, Roasted cherry tomatoes and Truffle soup

The truffle soup was thick, creamy and well seasoned. It had a really rich, acidic flavour of tomatoes running through it and the fragrance of truffle peaking through.

The basil gnocchi in the soup was very fragrant and beautiful with the strong notes of spice from the basil.

A very nice starter to increase one's appetite for the next course!

Poached loin of rabbit, carrot and orange soup, carrot rappee

The poached loin of rabbit was well executed with a very good combination of flavours from the sweet and acidic carrot and orange soup.

The rabbit meat was nice,soft and tender and the carrot rappee gave a nice crunch to the dish.

To follow......

Pan roasted breast of Gressingham duck, fondant potatoes, honey glazed baby onions, red cabbage

My housemate's second duck dish in two days!

The duck this evening was well cooked (not as pink as the day before's) and not too tough, the meat retained its juiciness and was well seasoned.

The potato fondant was rich and buttery but tasted a little bit bland and could have been better if the edges were browned a little bit more.

The red cabbage was well cooked (much better than the day before's) and complimented the duck dish really well.

Pan roasted fillet of venison with mustard crust, spiced pear & blueberry vinaigrette, roast new potatoes

The venison dish was beautifully presented.

The spiced pear was sweet, soft and had the wonderful flavours of spice. The blueberry vinaigrette was thick and rich with its acidity cutting through the strong taste of venison meat.

I loved every bit of this dish but the main ingredient of this dish was a bit disappointing. Although the venison was medium cooked, I found it rather tough and dry.

To finish......

Vanilla creme brulee and raspberry sorbet

The vanilla creme brulee was amazingly delicious. It was light and creamy with a very well balanced vanilla flavour to it and the raspberry sorbet was wonderfully sour.

A very nice dessert to end the meal after a heavy main course.

Lime Posset with cherry compote

The lime posset was wonderfully citrussy and had set very well. It was thick and creamy, a dash of that sweet cherry compote with each mouthful of the refreshing lime posset was just perfect!

I was pleasantly surprised with such fine food being served in pubs dotted around the beautiful country of the Cotswolds!

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