Monday 25 August 2008

Gisborough Hall Hotel

The plan was to drive from Scotland to our hotel in North Yorkshire, dump the bags, then drive to Whitby for some of their famous fish & chips fried in beef dripping. The plan came a bit unstuck when the drive to the hotel took 7 hours - partly due to some fairly major changes to the roads around Edinburgh that neither our satnav or our road map knew about.

By the time we got to Guisborough, there was no possible way we could do a 1 hour round-trip to Whitby, even for the best fish & chips in the world. So we booked an early-ish table in the hotel restaurant, lay on the bed and drank the complementary sherry.

The menu had a good variety of local produce, and I changed my mind about 3 times before settling on my meal. I started with a Smoked Whitby haddock and leek croquette, which was served with a decent amount of very good hollandaise sauce. The croquette was moist and very nicely seasoned, with good chunks of un-dyed smoked haddock.

Paul had Confit of Gressingham duck and foie gras terrine, which I thought might be quite a good use for the bloc of foie gras sitting in my pantry. The lobe of foie gras was enclosed in shreds of confit, and his portion was a decent slab, served with onion marmalade.

As a main course I had Manor House Farm organic pork cutlet grilled and served with sweet mashed potatoes, Yorkshire greens and roasted fennel compote. Now, this was the best pork cutlet I have ever had. They can so easily be dry and woody, or just really bland, but this was beautifully porky. It must have been from a very fat pig. The mashed sweet potato was dull - they combined normal potatoes and sweet potatoes and really didn't get the best of either. But the roasted fennel compote was delicious. Very similar in flavour to the Rick Stein one I nicked for my fish pie a few months back, although this had the addition of some grainy mustard that did really good things to it.

Paul's Grilled Whitby cod with a parsley and lemon crust was lovely, with big, creamy white flakes of impeccably fresh fish. I thought the crust should have been lemony-er, and I think they burnt the butter slightly, but it was still fab and made up for not getting to Whitby for fish & chips.

I bravely ventured on a dessert although I probably shouldn't have. Layered lemon and orange mousse with sable biscuits sounded all nice and light but it was a much bigger portion than expected! I was really sorry not to have my camera (or phone) at the table because it was really impressive. A tower of 3 sable biscuits, with 2 layers of mousse, a scoop of mascarpone on top, another sable on the side and a crowning glory of shards of toffee was really a bit OTT. The mousse was amazing though. Very stable and firm without getting that weird gelatine-and-eggwhite texture and a lovely, light tart citrus flavour.

We couldn't face coffee, so went for a walk in the grounds to try and find the llamas we could see from our room. They were a bit skittish and wouldn't come to chat.


Unknown said...
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Dharm said...

The hotel looks great and I love that you get Free Sherry!! Thanks for stopping by at my blog - you were really fast! I had just posted!!! You have a nice blog here too!

Alicia Foodycat said...

I know! The free sherry was such a nice touch. Every hotel should do it!

Dee said...

Sounds like a lovely break! I'm truly jealous that you have a block of foie gras in your pantry. I have baked beans :(

Alicia Foodycat said...

The foie gras isn't a normal storecupboard ingredient! A friend in France sent it to me as a treat and I have been trying to figure out the most appropriate use.

NKP said...

What a lovely trip. Sounds heavenly, even with the detour.
I think I would be made happier with a little free sherry, what a great touch. Such hospitality.


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