Summer Lodge, Evershot in Dorset Restaurant Review
PUBLISHED: 17:12 21 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:51 20 February 2013
Dorset magazine reviews Summer Lodge
Summer Lodge, Evershot
Summer Lodge is a place full of surprises. Situated in the heart of Evershot, a picture-postcard thatched village, this quintessential Georgian country house hotel is owned by a South African and manned by the finest catering staff from more than 16 different countries. Awaiting our arrival is Frederic, who, although he hails from Tours, just south of Paris, admits to having a love affair with Dorset and West Country food.
As my husband, Nick, and I enjoyed the stunning view of Summer Lodges famous gardens, Frederic talked with great knowledge and Gallic passion about the Cornish mackerel, Portland crab, Creedy Carver duck and the doorstep-local Casterbridge beef that are amongst the headliners of the restaurants weekly changing menu.
There was so much to tantalise and tease our tastebuds, from pan-fried Lyme Bay scallops with braised fennel and almond puree, to cannelloni of confit rabbit leg with a broad bean and Madeira fricass. To save the pain of decision we both opted for the full Epicurean experience of the Degustation or Tasting Menu with eight individual courses, a delicious theatrical performance for the senses.
The curtain was raised with tiny bowls of spring pea soup which hid within their vivid green depths an individual crispy ham croquette. The gourmet experience continued with succulent lobster, delicate foie gras, followed by sweet Lyme Bay scallops and medallions of rare velvety Casterbridge beef fillet. We gambolled across the cheese board from Exmoor Blue to Cornish Yarg and Isle of Wight Blue to Wensleydale via Wookey Hole and the Isle of Mull. And then, just when we thought we had experienced all the pleasures that any two diners could safely indulge in one sitting, Frederic hit us with a master blow: a dessert of caramel souffl served with a shot glass of pure frothed runny caramel sauce and a wedge of salted popcorn ice cream, the combination of which brought us to our feet for a standing ovation!
The way Executive Chef Steven Titman and Chef Phil Verden combine delicious local ingredients into an haute cuisine menu is inspirational. We left feeling replete, better informed and thoroughly entertained. The food was tremendous. Probably the only thing better than the food was the warmth and knowledge of the staff.
Foie gras and summer truffle terrine with
white balsamic and apricot jelly
Grilled Cornish mackerel fillets with lobster
and asparagus and saffron aioli
Cream of sweetcorn soup, crispy Portland crab fritter, coriander and sweet chilli
Roast loin of Dorset lamb and braised shoulder Shepherds Pie with Savoy
cabbage and rosemary jus
Pan-seared halibut fillet with potato rosti, crispy Dorset bacon, poached free range
egg and Hollandaise
Aromatic carrot Pastilla with coriander
salad, carrot and hazelnut dressing
Strawberry and clotted cream pannacotta, pavlova, ice cream and shortcake
Raspberry and blackberry Baked Alaska
with roasted blackberry mille feuille and raspberry jelly
Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa, Evershot, Dorset, DT2 0JR 01935 482000 summerlodgehotel.co.uk
Prices: starters from 14.50; main courses from 21.95; desserts from 12.95
Degustation Menu 75