On Sunday, we took ourselves off up the A68 to Allensford, home of Derwent Manor Hotel, for a tasty anniversary lunch. We dined in the Claret & Grouse bar, rather than the in-house Guinevere Restaurant.
Set on a hillside looking out over beautiful rolling countryside, Derwent Manor calls 20 acres of greenery its home. The views from the car park are just stunning. It makes me proud to be from County Durham!
As we wandered through the hotel you could see the really old parts of the building mixed sympathetically with the newer additions. The Grouse & Claret bar itself is a real step back in time. Dark wood, low beams and a historical charm all of its own.
The bar menu is extensive and varied which is always good to see. With tasty tempters on the nibbles side of things through to starters, mains, a grill selection and the puds.
We headed straight for the starters and Mr Tramp ordered the Smoked Haddock Hash and when it arrived it was chock full of flakes of fresh fish moulded in to a patty with a dainty poached egg atop. It smelled wonderful and it rightly tasted wonderful too. Mr T was a bit undecided if the £6.50 price tag befit the portion size and I was a bit unsure of the dark liquid in the plate. Presentation wise that could have been tidied up but as it came from the fresh spinach it wasn’t untoward.
I had the Sourdough Bruschetta with rocket salad and it was tasty yet not overly bruschetta-y. The warmed tomato and mozzarella did make a nice change, most certainly, and the red onion jam on the top was phenomenal. I could have eaten that all day long. The rocket was plentiful and nicely dressed. Overall it was a very appealing dish and would have easily made a great light bite lunch on its own.
For our mains, we both chose the Sirloin Steak and all the trimmings. Crisp, hand cut brown chips, tender well cooked steak and light crispy onion rings went down a treat alongside the Peppercorn and Diane sauces. The latter of which was moreish. My well done steak and Mr Tramp’s rare steak were both cooked to our respective idea of perfection and retained a juiciness. Local Northumbrian meat at it’s finest.
As our anniversary couldn’t have been going any better, the kind staff whisked over a lovely glass of champagne for us with a plump strawberry in each. What a way to spend the afternoon right? Well fed, well watered and with my handsome husband. Hats off to Derwent Manor for the little things that make the biggest difference.
The staff were all super pleasant and made the visit effortless.