This weekend SO and I celebrated our one year anniversary in style. As a wedding present our parents jointly presented us with a special arrangement weekend at one of the two three-michelinstar restaurants and hotel. This restaurant had been on our wish list for quite some time, but reservations need to be made well in advance. The other nice thing is it is in the town I grew up in. The hotel, when I was a girl, was the women’s prison (in fact it was until 2004). The building itself was built in 1739. Never thought that the day would come I’d spend the night there in prison .
The restaurant is located in the former library of the 15th century Dominican convent. Though the building is wonderful, if you don’t know it houses one of the countries top restaurants you would not see it.
As the weather forecast was bad (Snow, sleet, cold and wind) we decided to go there early in case we’d have to go slow. We should not have worried. Roads were fine. Only the last little bits were a tad slippery.
We arrived, in style, in our own, not quite a Bentley, car. Staff was waiting at the door to welcome us. As we were a little early to enter our room we were graciously seated in the foyer with champagne for him Hot chocolate in a wine glass for him. Oh yes and some cheese, nice cheese.
When we got to the room (named Water mint) we were, well very happy. The room comes with a butler, which we did not need, but still decadent! Large, good bed, great tub and high on gadgets (mac operated, PC electric shutters, dimmers, autosensing lights in the toilet, bed-fold-yourself-double -using-controls). As you can imagine we tried all of the gadgets. We did go into town for a while as we had forgotten some stuff, but it was so cold and windy that we ran back to the hotel and plunged ourselves into the hot bath. Exquisite!
That evening around 7.30 m we were driven to the restaurant. It is only a 300 m walk but the weather alarm did turn out to have some merit so a car had been organised. We were greeted by two shivering young men whom escorted us to the restaurant and our table. From there on there was only the sheer joy of splendid food. And I mean splendid. There was goose liver, cod, sole, goat, rabbit kidney, apple pie etc. But none were presented the way you’d expect them. Nothing was on a standard plate. A lot was not what it seemed. Most notably the clove that really was bitter chocolate. All 8 courses plus starters were little explosions of flavour, working together to become a show of magic. I have never experienced food like this. This was incredible. We now understand why he has three-stars. SO had the wine arrangement with it and I had alcohol-free cocktails One was a grape and lemon cocktail and the other I want to learn how to make. Orange, apple, coconut and at the bottom some peppermint syrup. Decorated with a few mintleaves and lots of ice. As the syrup slowly diffused into the drink and the ice melted it made every sip different and wonderful. It would be a great cocktail to present at a BBQ.
Around midnight we were driven, or rather slithered, back to the hotel and went to bed, unable to move. The food was just so awesome and we had eaten so much!
The next morning we had breakfast in (rather near) bed as they wheeled a whole table in. All kinds of great food. Homemade peanut butter, black pudding with apple, open sandwich with fried quails eggs (5) fresh OJ, poached egg with spinach mouse, yoghurt with home made muesli ad all wonderful, wicked and sensational. The funny part was with two flowers at breakfast were the same as in my bouquet. Of course they came with us.
After all that we went to have coffee at my parents place. They were very curious as to how it was. They were most pleased that we loved their wedding present, as were the in-laws when we called them.
Driving home it snowed and that made it a little more slippery, but rads were generally clear until we arrived to our street, which is one ice rink.
The food this weekend was so utterly good that you would not want not have it every day. It is too special, it needs to remain special. So tonight we are having my father’s home made bean soup. Something he makes and I have a adored since childhood.
This weekend was truly one of those things that was on our have-to-do-in-this-lifetime-list. Ticked off the list, but certainly something worth repeating