With having our first glimpse of sunshine this weekend, it seems it’s the perfect time to share my experience of the new summer menu at Matfen Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa…
I was recently invited along to the 19th century Northumbrian country home for their launch of their brand new menu that embraces the fresh flavours that the approaching season brings along with it. It was a pleasure to meet Head Chef, Paul Blakey, and hear his inspiration for creating the new menu.
The team at Matfen Hall have not only spent time developing some beautiful new scran, but have also invested in refurbishing their wedding spaces – which are absolutely stunning for any newly engaged couples… (Get a shuffle on man, Dan!)
Unfortunately, I wasn’t visiting Matfen Hall to imagine myself waltzing down the aisle but I was there for my one true love. Food.
The new summer menu at Matfen Hall Hotel is available in their 2AA rosette restaurant, The Library, and features some truly beautiful contemporary food.
We were incredibly lucky that we got to sample several dishes from each course, and whilst I don’t think I could complain about any, I definitely had my favourites.
The platter of food to start consisted of:
- Seared Woodpigeon with Mushroom Tortellini and a Deep Fried Egg Yolk
- Slow Braised Pork Cheek served with a Spicy Tomato & Crayfish Broth and Ginger & Lime Salad
- Beetroot Press, a Goats Cheese Fondant, Guacamole and a Sourdough Crouton (Perfect for the Veggies!)
- Ham & Pea Terrine served with a Split Pea Soup
Also on the menu but not something we tried was a Seared Mackrell Fillet and a Cheese Soufflé.
The woodpigeon was cooked perfectly. If you like the rich taste of ‘game’ I’d highly recommend giving this a try, especially teamed with the mushroom tortellini and the oozy deep fried egg!
My very favourite however, was the pork cheek. Honestly, it would have never been something I ordered from a menu but it was divine. Flaky, soft and perfect seasoned pork meat that had a very subtle hint of coriander and ginger.
The crayfish broth it was served with was beautiful too; meaty chunks of crayfish with a good bit of heat from the soup.
The beetroot press was a firm favourite around the table too, but unfortunately the pork had already won.
The selection of main courses were next up, including:
- Roast Rump of New Season Lamb, Seared Liver, Pancetta and Lyonnaise Potatoes
- Pan Seared Fillet of Sea Trout served with Seared Scallops, Asparagus, Samphire and Broad Beans
- Slow Cooked Blade of Beef with Truffle, Tarragon and a Tempura Oyster
- Pan Roasted Pork Fillet served with Chorizo, Pork Belly Wellington and Sauerkraut
On the menu, you’ll also find a vegetarian friendly Roast Shallot & Artichoke Tart with a Poached Duck Egg, Crispy Shallots and Béarnaise Sauce as well as Grilled Plaice Fillets served with Smoked Haddock Rarebit, Curried Mussels and Spring Onion Risotto. A selection of steaks are also available from ‘The Grill’.
I enjoyed all of my tasters, especially the lamb with Lyonnaise potatoes and the sea trout however, the resounding and unanimous winner was the blade of beef.
The cut of meat just fell apart, it was beautifully pink and succulent – exactly how beef should be. It’s making me starving thinking about it now…
Despite already bordering on a food-induced coma, it was time for the dessert round. The sweet numbers included:
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Coconut Ice Cream and Dark Rum Syrup
- Dark Chocolate & Espresso Coffee Cup with a Hazelnut Praline Biscuit
- Five Spice Panna Cotta and Vanilla Sponge Fingers
There is also a selection of ice creams available and a Salted Caramel Soufflé.
I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong about the Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I’m a firm believer that fruit doesn’t belong in desserts but this retro cake was actually delicious. The coconut ice cream with the bitterness of the cooked pineapple was lovely and I was pleasantly surprised by this modernised little number.
The dark chocolate and espresso was just too rich for me, but we all know my sweet tooth is virtually non-existent which it comes to chocolate.
My favourite had to be the Panna Cotta. The unusual spices reminded me of Christmas, it was so pungent and moreish. In fact, I think I ate about three more when everyone else was too full or wasn’t a fan.
Download the full menu, along with the prices for the new menu at Matfen Hall. It could work out pricey, but it’s absolutely worth it for fine food using quality ingredients.
I’m tempted to have a little Northumberland staycation just to go back! It would be absolutely gorgeous in the summer to enjoy the beautiful grounds and scenery. Have you stayed over? I’d love to know your thoughts!
Drop me a tweet @ProperScrummy!
Lots of love, LB x