We have just returned from three delightful little breaks – all different yet all taken in the cold ‘midwinter’ and all soooooooo enjoyable!
First a meal out at the Old Vicarage in Ridgeway Village, outside Sheffield. Location is probably wonderful in summer as the beautiful Victorian House is set in manicured lawns behind high walls with ample parking, but on a dark windy night it is a difficult place to find – the sat nav kept telling us we had reached our destination and we kept saying ‘where?’ Fortunately a lone night runner passed as we were trying to phone for specific directions and ‘ran’ us to the place where we spotted a discreetly lit sign on the gatepost (apparently a larger more well lit sign is ‘under discussion’).
Once inside we were shown into the drawing room for drinks and delicious canapes. There is an extensive wine list with something for every taste. The service is a tad stuffy for me – we were called by surname frequently, “would Mrs Cohen like this?”, “and for you Mr Cohen?” You either like this formality or you don’t – there were only three other couples dining so the place lacked atmosphere; there was music playing for which I was grateful as in such a grandiose setting with so few people I felt driven to whisper!
So not a great start but then the food came and compensated completely for lack of atmosphere. A warming amuse bouche of delicious soup, perfectly cooked baked cod, grouse with marvellous sweetbreads and the thing I remember most was one of the desserts – liquorice and lemon Battenberg with a lemon curd sorbet. I am not a massive fan of liquorice but wanted to try something different from all the usual puds offered elsewhere. It was just divine with the hint of root liquorice and the zingy lemon kick in perfect balance.
Great choice of cheeses as an optional dessert and good coffee, although strangely you pay extra for chocolates to go with it. Normally £75 each for 4 courses is worth paying but on a Groupon deal it was a bargain and I urge you to go at least once – I may try it again in the summer!
If you are not within driving/taxi distance of the Old Vicarage stay at Mossborough Hall, a newly renovated Great Western hotel just down the road which incidentally also does deals and was a lovely place to stay with comfy rooms and very friendly service. The next day we drove the short distance to pretty Bakewell where the opportunity for the sampling of the town tart, or even better pudding, was too much a temptation to miss! A walk around the village after tea and then home after a truly yummy gastronomic break!