I have often walked past this restaurant on my way between the Market Place and the Pavilion Gardens, but I have never ventured inside.
We parked the car outside the Town Hall and walked a hundred yards down the road passing a delightful children’s shoe shop.
Just as we were about to reach for the door latch it was opened, and we were warmly welcomed by a lovely lady, who took our coats and hung them in the cloak room.
I have to say my first impressions were a little disappointing as the room was empty except for several tables covered in green linen table cloths with a vase with a single rose.
When we were settled in our seats we were given today’s menu which was a Sunday roast.
There were several choices, with starters which could be upgraded to a main course as well as belly pork, which my husband and daughter chose, roast chicken, duck in pastry or lamb cutlets in a Rosemary and garlic sauce. The assistant heard me bemoaning that I would have opted for the lamb but for the garlic as it makes me ill. She said I could just have plain gravy with it if I wished.
No contest then. My daughter insisted we had a small glass of Prosecco, and as my husband offered to forgo a drink in order to drive I agreed.
I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed the bubbly, it made it a real celebration.
The two plates of belly pork were presented and they looked wonderful with a to die for piece of crackling and a Yorkshire pudding done to perfection. My own plate looked fabulous, three lamb cutlets just slightly pink with a beautiful Yorkshire pudding, served with mint sauce in a small jug.
Enough Cabbage, carrots and cauliflower in a light white sauce and loads of wonderful crispy roast potatoes and creamy mash was put in front of us. An extra jug of gravy was also brought to the table.
Every mouthful was a delight. The lamb was extremely tender and I savoured every mouthful, the vegetables cooked as they should be. I have to confess at this point to not being a lover of potatoes (my Irish ancestors may turn in their graves at that remark) but I am assured by Alicia and Edward that they were perfect.
We all swore we were full until the pudding list appeared.
However, Edward did refrain, as he had polished off most of the potatoes remembering also that he had had my share too.
During the meal we had been reminiscing about the cruises we had been on and thinking about the food.
We all agreed that unless you ate in one of the speciality restaurants then the desserts could quite easily be forgotten.
Even in the main dining room, the only dessert we all agreed was good enough to eat was the Creme brûlée, to the amusement of our waiting on staff we never deviated from this order.
Low and behold on the puddings list was, yes you’ve guessed it, Creme Brûlée. We had no choice, we had to give it a try. So as not to be too greedy we just asked for one and two spoons which was very happily brought to us.
All Alicia and I could do was to go ooh and ahhh, as we devoured this delicious dessert.
Without doubt, this was one of the best Creme Brûlées I had ever tasted.
We rounded off the meal with an espresso with warm milk. I know we are Philistines, but I have never been able to drink a black shot, however with hot milk and sugar it is infinitely more pleasurable than filter coffee, which was also on offer.
Would I go back again, you bet your life I would, would I recommend it to others yes yes and yes, was it value for money, yes.
But please next time I come get rid of the green table cloths as they don’t match the decor. I think the tables look nicer if they are already set up. But seriously I can overlook those minor issues.
Thank you Columbine Restaurant!