Overnight Stay At The Farmhouse, Mackworth
I am a very lucky little Birdie dear reader, very lucky indeed. For our wedding anniversary the Boy Wonder had decided to treat us to dinner, bed and breakfast at the Farmhouse in Mackworth as we had so enjoyed our first visit there earlier this year after its extensive refurbishment. We checked into our beautiful room with king-size bed and were soon donning the lovely fluffy robes hanging up as we cracked open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate and had a look through the lunch menu.
I had a Marinated Mozzarella, smashed Avocado, plum tomato, Pesto and Rocket Focaccia with skinny fries to nibble on and the Boy went for the Josper grilled Old spot sausage, smoky bacon jam, watercress, and crispy Shallot toasted Ciabatta with fries. They were both absolutely delicious and kept our hungry tummies satisfied until dinner later that evening.
Our restaurant reservation was for 7.30p.m and as we were shown to our table I was thrilled to see the tables were (bar 3) all taken, so other people obviously agree with yours truly that this is a fantastic place to come and dine. For starters we ordered the Chorizo, roasted Pepper and Potato hash with poached Duck egg, and Seared Squid with Chinese leaves, Mange tout and a Chilli and Peanut dressing. They were immaculately presented and extremely tasty and we were both looking forward to tasting our pre-ordered main course of the 20oz Chateaubriand.
The steak came on a wooden slab, skilfully sliced to maximise its impact on the eye, with soy glazed beef Tomatoes and confit Garlic Mushrooms. There was also another wooden slab that held two dishes of triple cooked chips and a dish of Creamed Spinach. Ours is a divided nest when it comes to how we like our meat cooking; I like mine still mooing whereas the Man likes his still slightly pink but no blood. We decided to have our Chateaubriand done medium rare, and it actually worked out really well for us to share the meat slice by slice, cutting it where we wanted according to its colour. The meat itself was extraordinarily tender, but then it does come from cows that have a massage machine in their stalls to use at their whim!
All the accompanying vegetables were delicious, I was completely smitten with the Spinach and mushrooms and the Man Bird gobbled down the majority of the chips in double-jig time, declaring them to be majorly yummy. The tomato was lovely and soft, and piping hot, just how I like my tomatoes to be when I have them with steak. A lot of places only put them under a grill for a couple of minutes but this doesn’t soften them enough I don’t think, so I was very happy with how the Farmhouse team cook them.
Unsurprisingly we needed a short breather before ordering our puddings after eating all that meat. His Nibs had crispy fried Ice Cream with Caramelised Banana and Butterscotch sauce for his final course and I had the Vanilla Panna Cotta with poached summer fruits and Lemon biscotti. Both desserts were absolutely delicious, although I must confess to not being able to finish my biscotti.
The bananas had been sliced in half lengthways and then caramelised on top before being drizzled artfully with a rich butterscotch sauce, and the ice cream was something the Boy hadn’t had before ( he hasn’t had a deep fried mars bar either can you believe ?). My own Panna cotta was as smooth as silk with a lovely rich vanilla finish that was offset perfectly by the zingy summer fruits.
To finish we had our usual lattes and reflected on a fantastic anniversary evening before heading back up to the comfort of our room.
After a very comfortable night sleep we headed back down to the restaurant to partake in our Continental breakfast (included in the price of the room). The selection of food on offer was most impressive and our server came to see if we wanted tea or coffee and white or brown toast.
You can also order cooked breakfast items, at a reasonable price, and if you are staying at the hotel you get an extra 20% discount on the prices. I think that if we hadn’t had the magnificent meal the night before we would’ve had a couple of Full English breakfasts, but in all honesty I couldn’t manage it.
All the staff were very polite and professional for the duration of our stay and made us feel very welcome. I can thoroughly recommend the Farmhouse at Mackworth for dining and for staying in too; Hot Wings still very much deserved guys :)