The Gallery Restaurant, Denbie’s Wine Estate, Surrey

During the Christmas to New Years week, I am going to post a few old blog posts that I never sent… from Istanbul, Italy and others. They were written at the time, and I for some reason never posted them… so enjoy!

(November 2014)

A perfect fall Sunday.. and a friend moving imminently back to New York. One of the items on her bucket list was to spend more time outside of London. And, as I had just come back from Rioja, I was pushing any and all wine tastings. So three of us headed down to Surrey for the day. Check out the colour of those vineyards!
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We booked a 2pm winery tour and lunch beforehand in the Gallery Restaurant, the more upscale of the two at the estate. And what a lunch it was…

The two girls started with the pumpkin and celeriac soup (delicious and warming, according to them), which had a few mushrooms and some truffle oil dabbled in.

 

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I went for the salt and pepper squid, served with a lime aioli, which was also very good… That said, the “friedness” was a bit too hard-fried, so by the end of the dish, I felt a bit overfried…

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Then, as main courses..

Alicia had the lemon and basil arancini, served with spiced cauliflower and a cream sauce. These were big, tasty arancini with lots of flavour, and the cauliflower was a really nice accompaniment.photo 4

 

Kirsten had the smoked haddock with Puy lentils, bacon, and a poached duck egg. Apparently another amazing dish (I was too busy eating my own to taste).

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I went for the braised ox cheeks, clearly the heaviest of the dishes on the menu.. and the most tender! They were served with a horseradish mashed potato, a pumpkin puree, and sugar snap peas. At first, two purees seemed like a lot, but the sweetness of the pumpkin worked well with the tart horseradish in the potatoes. And the ox cheeks… did I mention how tender they were???

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By dessert, we were stuffed but still wanted a little something… so decided to share the cheese plate. Yes, so, there were three smaller slices of cheese amongst the crackers and fruit.. but it was actually more than enough. The selection of cheeses was fine, a cheddar (we are in the UK after all), a blue, and a goat cheese, all local Sussex cheeses. A savoury end to the meal…

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Then, we did an indoor tour of the winery. The winery is much more modern than the ones I had just visited in Rioja, which made it especially interesting… As did the map of all of the grapes and wine-types that they grow! And our guide was great, very informative but also carrying a great sense of humour! For anyone looking for a half-day trip outside of London that includes wine, good food, and a small bit of education, visit Denbie’s!

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