Gourmet Dining in the Forest of Dean - Tudor Farmhouse Hotel
If you’re feeling peckish, with a couple of hours free on a weekday, and fancy a real dining treat, do what I did – take your loved one to the Tudor Farmhouse Hotel in Clearwell and dig into chef Rob Cox' lunchtime Menu, the 5 Course Taster. You won’t be disappointed believe me. On arrival we were met by Hari the owner who was attentive and informative throughout. The dining room is intimate and characterful without being claustrophobic and it was great to hear other diners’ murmurs of appreciation as they similarly enjoyed themselves.
Sometimes you feel like you're taking your life in your hands with a taster menu and when Hari mentioned that the White Onion Soup with duck egg also had smoked prunes and granola I did experience a moment of panic as I wondered what other eccentric combinations might be flying my way over the following couple of hours but I needn't have worried, it was great: sweet, rich, creamy, nutty, with just enough smoke to keep it savoury, and things got better with each passing course culminating in a wonderful bittersweet chocolate pudding.
To go with the food, we had the Flight of Wines which provided some excellent pairings. It would be tough to judge the best but for my palate the Yealands 2015 Pinot Noir (served with the Pork Belly) was a belter, loads of fruit, controlled tannins and a great finish, closely followed (accompanying the Cod Bourride, god that sauce!) by the Quercus Pinot Grigio, a vibrant surprise from Slovenia - Slovenia ? Who knew?
The menu changes with some regularity but you can see the highlights below and we can't wait to head back shortly to try the 7 Course Tasting Dinner. So, do yourself a favour and head down there for a couple of hours of unmitigated pleasure - ideally with someone who is willing to drive you home.........
Tudor Farmhouse, High Street, Clearwell, 01594 833046; tudorfarmhousehotel.co.uk. Lunch served 12 - 2pm.