After the usual sort of 'pick something at random from Toptable' night out, I was rather pleasantly surprised. Upon arrival, the first impression was that it was a bit more upmarket than I had expected, but in a nice way. We were greeted by a waiter who took our coats, showed us to our table and ordered our drinks.
My next impression was that it was all a bit quiet. Apart from our party of four, there were 2 other couples seated nearby. As they sat there in almost total silence and we engaged in conversation, I felt a bit self-conscious. However, as this was 7p.m. and the place started to fill up soon after, the sound level raised and I felt we were standing out a bit less.
The food, when it arrived, was absolutely top notch. For starters we had either the home-made wild mushroom soup or Seared Scallops with black pudding, crispy bacon and an apple jus. The latter, which was mine, was perfect. To have 2 of my favourite things in the same dish was a real treat. I must say that quite a lot of the items on the menu included 'locally foraged wild mushrooms' so, if you're into that sort of thing, this is the place for you.
The main course for us was either Sea Bream, Lamb shank, Lamb fillet or Pork Belly. All of these were absolutely spot on. You could tell that they had been lovingly prepared and cooked by a proper chef not just some 'cook'. It was a bit like eating on Masterchef when you saw the creativity and visual flair as well as the taste and combination of ingredients.
The desserts were also up to the same high standard. A good variety and mostly things you don’t get elsewhere.
Service was wonderful throughout. The waiting staff were all very friendly, helpful and attentive in an appropriate degree.
But, as they say: "There's always a 'but' ". About half way through our meal, there was a live singing act. 2 ladies who were a sort of ABBA tribute, karaoke group came out and started singing. They did look the part and sounded quite good too. However, as each song started, they seemed to be notching up the volume a bit and, after about a half a dozen songs, we were finding it difficult to carry out any sort of meaningful conversation. That said, they were good but could have kept the sound level down to enable diners to talk to each other.
All in all though, a thoroughly pleasant experience and I would definitely recommend it and go back again myself.
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