Last night I had the pleasure of attending a very special dinner to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Carden Park Hotel in Cheshire. The luxurious hotel and spa lies surrounded by rolling countryside and we were welcomed for drinks on the sunny outdoor terrace, where we enjoyed Carden Old Gold, the sparkling wine which is made by the hotel at their own vineyard. A pianist played as we took our seats for dinner in the elegant dining room and we sipped Domaine de la Baume 2015 Merlot to start the evening. Executive head chef Graham Tinsley MBE has cooked for royalty and dignitaries and he had prepared a special three course menu for the evening, inspired by dishes which featured on the à la carte menu when the hotel first opened twenty years ago. He took the floor to talk us through the menu and it was clear that a lot of thought had gone in to the dishes.
You cannot beat a classic prawn cocktail, and his take on the dish was a contemporary version of this well-loved favourite, which consisted of king prawns, cos lettuce, marinated cherry tomatoes and tomato sorbet. The striking presentation of the dish was matched by fresh and summery flavours from the juicy king prawns, while the cherry tomatoes and the tomato sorbet added tangy and refreshing elements.
For the main course we moved on to perfectly cooked roasted beef fillet with sticky beef cheek, onion flavours, smoked mash & onion sauce. The creamy smoked mash and the subtle onion sauce worked well with the succulent beef and this was a superb main course, with well-matched flavours. I loved the crispy onions which adorned the centre of the plate; they added texture and irresistible sweetness.
The finale was of the meal was equally spectacular, with a new take on the retro dessert Black Forest gateaux with duo of chocolate mousse, vanilla sponge, griottine rolled in chocolate soil and cherry ice cream. I love desserts which are not overly sweet and this one was delicate, with feather light sponge and griottine and cherry ice cream which added just the right amount of indulgence.
There were further speeches from Graham Tinsley MBE and Carden Park General Manager Paul Bayliss MBE as we had coffee to round off the evening. This was a fitting twentieth anniversary celebration for this refined hotel and I wish the Carden Park team all the best for the future. Graham Tinsley showed off his culinary prowess with his impressive menu and and it was a lovely evening.
What do you all think, do you like the sound of new versions of classics and which of these dishes would you like to try? As always I cannot wait to hear your thoughts and thank you so much for reading this post.
Until next time,