This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Restaurant Ston Easton Park I

LINDSEY HARRAD samples the exquisite flavours of The Sorrel restaurant, prepared with produce fresh from the Victorian kitchen gardens

’m going to make it clear before I start that there isn’t the space here to do complete justice to the dining experience at Ston

Easton Park, but I will attempt to give a flavour of what to expect if you’re lucky enough to find yourself whisked there for dinner one evening. Flavour, of course, being the main theme here, thanks to the relatively new head chef Daniel Moon’s remarkable ability to pack the most potent flavours into the delicate portions of a tasting menu. Unusually, I’m going to start my

review in the Victorian walled kitchen garden, although it seems appropriate, as this is where the flavour journey starts. We took a tour of the vegetable plots, accompanied by the hotel spaniel Oscar, to see where everything from the sweetest root veg – beetroot was a particular star of the menu when we visited – to a number of heritage tomatoes varieties, are grown, alongside a range of fruit trees bearing everything from figs to plums. It’s a mouthwatering array of fresh organic produce that couldn’t be more local to the kitchens here. A tasting menu is a wonderful way

to sample a chef’s creativity over a number of dishes, without straining the waistline too much, and with the tasting menu very reasonably priced at £59.50 a head – with the option to add the matching wines for £35 and a vegetarian menu also available – we started our evening in the drawing room overlooking the only remaining Humphry Repton landscape in

24 Wells Life

quality of the ingredients. My boyfriend tucked into his pork rillettes and Stornoway black pudding terrine with foie gras mousse, apple and sage with great enthusiasm, remarking on the palate-pleasing combination, served with a twist. Next, we both enjoyed the blue

The Old Kitchen is used for events and cooking demonstrations

Somerset (36 acres in total). After ordering a glass of the first wine on the tasting menu list, a 2011 Riesling Domaine Michel Fonne, from Alsace, which proves to be surprisingly punchy and less sweet than a typical Riesling, we were served an espresso-cup sized portion of mushroom risotto while we waited to be escorted to our table. The incredibly intense, earthy flavour and sublimely creamy texture certainly got our tastebuds tingling in anticipation for the main event. The taste sensations continued

throughout the meal, starting with the amuse bouche – a vivid green pea foam with an equally vivid flavour, topped with a mint cream (and bacon for the carnivore) for a miniature dish that captured the essence of summer. My vegetarian starter of goats’ cheese terrine was sublime, with creamy, delicate flavoured cheese, sweet vibrant home-grown beetroot, crisp apple and toasted pine nuts making a classic combination that was elevated to something really special by the sheer

cheese beignets accompanied by a broccoli purée with a beautiful green colour and real punch, with a textural contrast provided by crisp toasted almonds. With a few sprigs of the freshest tenderstem broccoli from the garden, and the addition of a delicately grilled cod loin on my boyfriend’s plate, it proved to be a perfect middle section to the menu, especially washed down with a delicious 2012 Petit Chablis (Domaine J. De Oliveira). Strangely enough, it was the pink grapefruit sorbet that followed, which highlighted the unbelievable attention to detail of this menu – with a divine pink sorbet nestled on an ice cup, into which dainty green leaves from the garden had been frozen for the most pretty yet practical presentation of the evening. The main course proved to be an

exceptional rose fillet of beef with a bone marrow glaze, while I enjoyed another seasonal treat, char-grilled courgettes with cobra beans (a cross between a green and a runner bean with a very fresh flavour and delicate texture) served with Parmesan gnocchi and a delicious beetroot purée, elevated to unexpected perfection by the addition of spices and citrus for a surprisingly exotic flavour reminiscent

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52