CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Dorset Magazine today CLICK HERE

Seasons at The Eastbury: Restaurant review

PUBLISHED: 10:53 29 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:24 29 August 2017

Exotic fruits combine with a lemongrass and white chocolate sorbet, coconut and black sesame seeds

Exotic fruits combine with a lemongrass and white chocolate sorbet, coconut and black sesame seeds

Archant

Helen Stiles experiences the multi-sensory delights of a tasting menu at Seasons at The Eastbury

To appreciate the harmonious talents of an award-winning chef in one sitting, set aside the à la carte and experience a tasting menu. Each course is chosen by the culinary maestro to create a concert of flavours. At Seasons at The Eastbury Hotel in Sherborne, the flavour alchemist is Matt Street, whose dishes won The Eastbury - Best Hotel Restaurant at 2016 Dorset Magazine Food, Drink & Farming Awards.

The six-course tasting menu gives a sensory feast of visual image, taste and texture with ingredients sourced seasonally and as locally as possible, including from the hotel’s garden. Each course is given at ‘example’ size, so the palate is never dulled by repetition and there are regular pauses to reflect on and discuss the food.

My vegetarian partner Stu was wowed by his vegetarian tasting menu, as his usual restaurant experience is “looks like I’m having the pasta then.” I opted for the ‘wine flight’, which offers wines matched to each course. Stu flew long-haul with the Dorset Brewing Company’s Jurassic Ale which gave a strong and stable complement to all his savoury courses.

The overture for both of us was an amuse-bouche: a demitasse of garden courgette soup with lemon oil that awoke the palate. Our first course was Vale of Camelot brûlée with slivers of pear, celeriac, chicory and caramelised walnuts. Vale of Camelot Blue is a cheese from Longmans, at North Leaze Farm in Somerset, it came both cooked and freshly crumbled over the salad. The mild and creamy cheese offset the bitter chicory, while the walnuts added lively texture. This was paired with a late harvest Sauvignon Blanc from Chile with notes of pear and honey - an inspired choice.

At this point our menus divided. My handpicked Devon crab, topped with slivers of horseradish was served with a summery chilled cucumber soup with spheres of green apple ‘caviar’, and sea purslane foraged from Weymouth. This was partnered with a smooth glass of Pauletts, Semillon, Australia with stone fruit flavours.

Stu had grilled asparagus from Red Barn Farm with wild garlic butter, a hen’s egg and a tasty Cranborne Chase rapeseed dressing. A simple dish, with great ingredients, beautifully executed.

My main of thyme and lemon roast chicken was wonderfully moist and herby and came with Maris Piper and basil mash, roasted onion (from the hotel owner’s garden), asparagus and wild garlic butter, topped with crushed roasted grains to give a nutty crunch. This was paired with a classic red Tierra Merlot, Chile with crunchy red berry notes.

Stu’s ravioli of squash with black garlic, burrata, shaved hazelnuts, basil and lemon oil dazzled with diversity – sweet, savoury, creamy, crunchy – a Belshazar’s Feast of a dish.

Next came a coffee pannacotta served with zesty orange granita, and caramel biscuit cream, accompanied by a blend of three different liqueurs which drew on the dessert’s three key flavours. This dreamy chocolate orange shot also worked well with Stu’s dessert of salted caramel ice cream, ginger cake, and caramel biscuit cream.

We reunited for the finale - exotic fruits with a fragrant white chocolate and lemongrass sorbet with coconut and black sesame. The crunchy sesame lifted the texture and flavour of this refreshing summer dessert, which was teamed with honeyed glass of Monbazillac, Château Vari.

We were very impressed by the knowledge of The Eastbury’s staff, who enthusiastically explained each dish and wine choice.

Over coffee and handmade petit fours, we hit on the idea of Eurovision-style voting for each course. Both the vegetarian and omnivore juries awarded “douze points” to the main courses in a nail-bitingly close contest, where every course deserved to be a winner. 


More…

Eating out in Dorset - Best restaurants - Whether you’re looking for fine dining, pub food, a romantic meal for 2 or a taste of something from further afield, eating out in Dorset really has something for everyone. Here’s our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dorset visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dorset staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dorset account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Friday, October 12, 2018

From farmhouse to country house, tea room to hotel Sue Quinn leaves no crumb untested as she seeks out some of the finest cream teas in the county

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

Sunday afternoons are made for lazing in a cosy pub, beer in hand and an overflowing plate of delicious roast dinner on the table. We pick 10 great places for Sunday lunch in Dorset

Read more
Monday, October 1, 2018

Fanny Charles is impressed by her lunch at Seasons at The Eastbury

Read more
Friday, September 28, 2018

Here are our Dorset Food, Drink and Farming winners for 2018; nominated and voted for by you

Read more
Friday, September 14, 2018

When Friday night arrives you can’t beat a traditional fish supper from the local chippy. With some help from our readers and in no particular order, we pick eight great ‘plaices’ for fish and chips in Dorset

Read more
Thursday, September 13, 2018

You can’t beat a pub lunch after a scenic country walk with your four-legged friend. In no particular order, we pick some of the best dog friendly pubs in Dorset

Read more
Monday, September 3, 2018

Robert Ndungu, Head Chef of the award-winning pub The Acorn in Evershot, reveals what is making his tastebuds tingle as summer gives way to autumn

Read more
Monday, August 20, 2018

We are delighted to announce our 2018 finalists

Read more
Monday, July 23, 2018

Asian flavours combine with seasonal Dorset ingredients at The Ollerod - an exciting new relaxed dining venture in the heart of Beaminster

Read more
Friday, July 20, 2018

From creamy classics to inspiring new flavours of gelato, Dorset is home to some of the best ice cream parlours in the south west. With some help from our readers, we pick eight great places to indulge in a scoop this summer

Read more
Monday, July 16, 2018

Kieran Perree, scallop diver and Golden Scallop founder shares his recipe for pan fried Lyme Bay scallops

Read more
Monday, July 9, 2018

Dab caught from Abbotsbury beach cooked with lots of garlic, parsley and butter

Read more
Tuesday, July 3, 2018

You can get lobster meat from a good fishmonger, though prawns or white crabmeat works well too. The homemade mayonnaise with its lemony hit of sorrel makes this extra special

Read more
Monday, July 2, 2018

Summer is fast approaching and warm weekends are perfect for sitting in a pub garden with good beer and even better company. In no particular order, we pick ten of the best Dorset pubs with beer gardens

Read more
 
A+ South & South West

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search