Today we are planning to spoil ourselves at The Woodspeen near Newbury. With a team in the kitchen that has, in the past, produced great food at both The Vineyard and Le Manoir….. our expectations are very high.
The restaurant has been beautifully designed. At lunchtime it is light and airy, and the diners have plenty of room to breathe, chat and eat. There are also great views of the Berkshire countryside through the tall windows. Rock decides to have a glass of the De Gras, Viognier Reserva while I pick the Curly Rascal – a golden ale by the local Two Cocks Brewery.
We are served an amuse-bouche of pumpkin soup which has been delicately flavoured with truffle oil. If this is a sign of things to come – the omens are good! We decide to share the crab raviolo with a lemon, fennel & parsley chowder. It is a thing of extraordinary beauty. The pasta is light as air and the crabmeat is complemented perfectly by the silky chowder. OMflippinG.
Now I’m really looking forward to my venison faggot & pave with rosemary potato terrine, spinach and onion gravy. My Curly Rascal has been fabulous and so I order a Lord Rivett bitter – another beer from the Two Cocks Brewery range. It’s not quite as good as the Curly Rascal but it works well with the venison. Meanwhile, Rock is really enjoying her line caught cod with braised red cabbage, parsnip, buttered kale and chestnut.
We are now in a state of sensory overload – the drinks, the variety of aromas and tastes have been extraordinary. There is just no way we can ignore dessert. We ask to share the cinnamon apple & prune bakewell with Armagnac ice cream. The kitchen divides it properly in two and it is served to us individually on separate plates. It is fabulous.
The overall quality of the food has exceeded our high expectations and the service here is also superb. The staff are observant and attentive without being intrusive – we really have been spoilt. We have been fortunate enough to eat in several Michelin starred restaurants this year – we will be gobsmacked if The Woodspeen does not earn at least one Michelin star in 2016!