Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Christmas at the Inn

I've already raved about The Inn at Grinshill and of course Chris Conde (their fabulous chef!) in a previous blog. We had already decided & booked to have Christmas lunch there before our 1st visit. The rest of the family had decided to do their own thing for Christmas, and I certainly didn't want us to be two sad old codgers sat at the kitchen table eating a huge turkey dinner that neither of us really wanted.

So Christmas day was a stress-free event - we had a lovely lie in and had already opened our respective presents the previous evening. Andy had a trouser press (partly a gift for myself as I wont have to de-crease his trousers with the smoothing iron anymore after they've been hanging in the wardrobe!) and I received a telescope - yes, a telescope.  I have recently taken an interest in the birds feeding in our garden and am fascinated with the moon.  So why not binoculars I hear you ask? Well, as I have a wonky eye - almost blind in the left in fact - binoculars don't really work for me, (nor does 3D TV so that's saved some money) so a telescope it is!
Anyway, after our lie in & a nice soak in the bath, we were ready to go off for our meal.  It was booked for two o'clock so as we still had plenty of time, we jumped into the Merc & went for a leisurely drive in the Christmas Day sunshine. The roads were full of Christmas Day visitors and those like us who were off to be wined & dined instead of cooking at home.

On arrival at The Inn, we were welcomed at the bar by Kevin Brazier, our co-host, in fine spirits & his usual friendly self.  A swift sherry for me before making our way to the dining room where we were greeted as if we were part of the family by Victoria Brazier, including hugs & kisses. Such a lovely lady.  We were shown to our beautifully decorated table, where we found not only the usual crackers but  a Christmas card addressed to us personally, and 2 large red baubles tied with ribbon which we were advised we should take home & hang on our tree to remember the staff at The Inn.  It's these little touches that make you want to go back again and again. The excellent food is a bonus!  I even got a wave from chef Chris Conde as he plated up his masterpieces at the 'pass' for the full to capacity dining room.


For Me: Pepper Crusted Fois Gras with Cointreau Jelly, Micro Leaves & Sourdough toast
 For Mr: Rosary Goat's Cheese, Beetroot Powder, Pain D'Epice, Beetroot Puree & Balsamic Jelly
Pan Fried Fillet of Beef, Mushroom Duxelle, Truffle Mousseline & Creamed Cabbage
There was also a selection of traditional Christmas vegetables including Sprouts which unfortunately were left as they were much harder than I like (Too raw for me!!! but that's the only complaint)

Then cane the Assiette of Desserts to share between us: 
Panacotta (Coconut), Nougat Parfait, Cherry Mousse (with Kirsch) and Christmas Ice Cream
This in turn was followed by homemade Christmas Puddings, flamed with brandy at the table
The puddings were light & delicious
The meal was completed with Coffee & warm Mince Pies

For chef Chris Conde there was something else to finish off service for the day:

Once again we had not been disappointed with our visit to The Inn at Grinshill and I for one, can't wait to go back with friends & family so that they too can experience such great hospitality & gastronomy.

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