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REVIEW: Seasons at The Eastbury

PUBLISHED: 16:01 01 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:02 01 October 2018

Pumpkin soup  with tomato butter

Pumpkin soup with tomato butter

Archant

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

A favourite uncle is coming to stay ... the in-laws are coming for Sunday lunch ... your best friend is coming for the weekend. Where should you take them to eat?

The perfect answer could be Seasons at The Eastbury, the elegant conservatory restaurant at this award-winning boutique hotel in the historic heart of Sherborne, just yards from the ancient abbey and the shops.

Seasons is a restaurant that welcomes everyone, not just hotel residents. Executive chef Matt Sweet and his team, all of whom have been with him for more than four years, have mouth-watering menus to please everyone: whether you are looking for fine dining, featuring carefully selected local and seasonal ingredients, or old favourites – dishes that the new owner Peter de Savary calls “adult nursery food”.

Raspberry and white chocolate dessertRaspberry and white chocolate dessert

Peter and Lana de Savary bought The Eastbury earlier this year from long-time owners Nicky and Paul King, who won great reviews and many awards - including two AA Rosettes – for one of Dorset’s best-loved hotels.

Matt and his head chef Rich Townsend are now aiming not only for a third AA rosette but for Seasons to become the locals’ first choice for lunch, afternoon tea or dinner.

Change always has to be handled carefully, and Matt wants development of the menus to be welcomed by old friends as well as new customers.

Matt and his teamMatt and his team

Lunch at Seasons can be as simple as a sandwich – properly made with local cheese, ham and other traditional fillings – or a bowl of soup. But there’s soup and there’s Seasons soup – autumnal parsnip soup comes garnished with caramelised walnuts, while the in-house bread is served with tomato butter, pink on the inside and looking like a just-ripe, freshly picked tomato on the outside!

Main courses include favourites such as Durdle Door beer battered fish, hand-cut chips, crushed peas and chunky tartare sauce or a succulent salt-aged beef burger with all the trimmings. Spoil yourself with a great ribeye steak from the world-famous Irish butchers Hannans, cooked to your precise instructions, or relish a perfectly pink rump of lamb on caramelised onions with Greek yoghurt and courgette.

Vegetarian choices include delicate savoury-sweet Vale of Camelot cheese brûlée with pear, celeriac and walnuts. Among the main course vegetarian options try ravioli of goat’s cheese with courgette, spinach, basil and tomato and saffron dressing – or splash out on the vegetarian tasting menu and wine flight.

Puddings are decadent and delectable – I opted for the fresh raspberries with white chocolate and mascarpone and a deeply flavourful raspberry sorbet (other tempting puddings are available).

Seasons at The Eastbury is the ideal place for Sunday lunch, with a choice of great roasts, freshly prepared vegetables and delightful puddings that you must leave room for!

“We are the real deal when it comes to Sunday lunch,” says Matt. “We have the staff and the facilities to do it properly.”

Whatever the season, you will find something local, delicious and original at Seasons. We wish them luck for that third rosette!

For more details visit theeastburyhotel.co.uk or call 01935 813131.

Starters

- Roasted quail crispy leg, parsnips, pine nuts, chestnut mushrooms

- Golden beetroot Homewood ewes’ curd, hazelnut, grapefruit, raspberry vinaigrette

Mains

- Venison loin, salt baked swede mash, Brussel sprout tops, roasted chestnuts

- Hake Nero tagliatelle, saffron & fennel, Cavalo Nero shellfish cream

Puddings

- Warm rice pudding, raspberry compote, Armagnac shot

- Blackberry soufflé, apple mousse, toffee sauce

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