Welcome to the first Food Friday of 2015!
To kick us off with style, I am going to share my visit to the Lord Crewe Arms pub and hotel in Blanchland. Situated a short hop from Derwent Reservoir in the Durham countryside, you may remember the name of the village from my review of the White Monk Tea Room.
After undergoing a huge £1.5m renovation, the Lord Crewe Arms re-opened in 2014 with a beautiful restaurant and luxurious rooms.
We visited on December 23rd for a special anniversary lunch time treat and it was an absolute delight. The staff were so incredibly helpful and inviting, the large open fires roared and crackled and it was just the perfect setting for a blustery dull day.
Our table overlooked the gardens and we watched the poor groundsman doing umpteen trips to the log store in the rain to keep the fires stoked! Good thing too really as one of the features of the Lord Crewe menu is a daily offering of a meat from the fireside. On our visit it was a homely beef stew.
For starters, from the everyday menu, Paul chose the Cullen Skink (£4.95). Presented beautifully on a rustic bowl, a pile of fresh fish left bare for you to lash on the steaming hot liquid at your own pace to build your own dish. Very nice touch and the finished article was sublime. The smokiness of the fish wasn’t over powering and it was a nicely filling starter.
I opted to go off-menu for my starter and I had Poached Eggs on toast with Hollandaise (£3.95). The waitress was a super star, making suggestions of what to choose and she was spot on. Super fresh eggs bursting their yolks over the toasted bread, is there anything better? The accompanying hollandaise went down well.
For mains, Paul went with Chargrilled Venison with Sweet & Sour Beetroot and Neep Croquettes (£15.45) The portion of venison was extremely generous and cooked perfectly. The neep croquettes added a nice unusual touch as did the beetroot. The only thing Paul had to complain about was a lack of sides, some potatoes or extra veg would have bulked the dish up… as it was I had to half my chips with him just so he felt full.
I went for the Peppered Flat Iron Steak with chips and Crispy Onion Rings (£15.45). The steak arrived cooked to my exact liking (thank you!) and I was so thoroughly impressed. Tender and juicy, the meat was delicious. The steak came with a rich peppercorn sauce that was the best thing for dipping the chips in too, when Paul had actually left me some! The onion rings were indeed crisp and light and clearly hand made!
We were both stuffed and couldn’t face puddings this time round.
We finished our meal with some drinks in the cosy cellar bar…. but I had to include a snap of the ladies toilets, they were so swish. Anywhere with Aromatherapy Associates hand soap gets thumbs up from me!
We can’t wait to come back to try one of the Sunday Lunches as they should be fantastic if this visit was anything to go by! You never know, we may even stay overnight to sleep the food off!
You can find the Lord Crewe Arms online HERE