The Bridge House in Beaminster is owned & run by Jo & Mark Donovan and we were invited down to sample their new Autumn Menu created by their Executive Chef Richard Norris and Head Chef Dan Viner. The Bridge House dates from the 13th century and is a gourmet hotel & restaurant, so we were super excited to be there on the launch night of the menu.
Their food provenance is strongly Dorset, especially locally from Beaminster – butchers, clipper teas, free range eggs, fruit & veg. It just shows we are blessed with some outstanding food producers in this area. www.bridge-house.co.uk/provenance
We were warmly welcomed by Vicky on reception and taken to our very comfortable & spacious room. We were staying the night so we could enjoy a bottle from their excellent wine menu. You can also order a glass or two of Furleigh bubbles to enjoy in your room.
They have a well stocked bar where on Fridays & Saturdays you can enjoy cocktails prepared by Lloyd Brown of the Grey Bear Company www.bridge-house.co.uk/cocktails.
We settled down to read the new Autumn Menu enjoying a Conker & tonic and a glass of my favourite beer, Palmers Dorset Gold.
The Autumn menu is also available as a 7-course tasting menu – minimum of two people.
Yellow Corn Chowder – Coriander & lime beignet, herb oil
Chestnut Cake – Squash purée, crispy sage, mushrooms a la grecque
Rabbit Pressing – Smoked ham, pistachio biscotti, raisin vinaigrette
Salt Cod – Soft duck egg, smoked paprika hollandaise, micro herbs
Wood Pigeon – Sprout top, crushed hazelnuts, celeriac, bacon
Vicky as usual chose the vegetarian option with the Chestnut Cake, it was compact and full of autumnal flavours, the crispy sage added a fragrant note to the dish.
I on the other hand went for the best fillet steak out there, Wood Pigeon. This was a beautifully presented dish, tender succulent pigeon, served with ingredients found in the pigeons neighbourhood.
Cod Loin – Chorizo , red lentils, kale, crispy cod skin
Gratin – Pumpkin, beetroot, celeriac, baby vegetable, poached hens’ egg
Duck – Partridge, polenta, chicory, heritage carrot, jus
Fillet – Beef wellington, duxelle, roast roots, purple majesty
Chicken – Sweet potato fondant, spinach, Ford Farm cheddar, smoked leeks
I hadn’t eaten duck for a while, so when this stunning plate of food appeared I was very pleased I had ordered it. The duck was beautifully cooked, still pink and melt in your mouth tender. The rich jus helped raise the very flavourful polenta to another level, a very enjoyable dish.
Vicky’s gratin, of pumpkin & beetroot, had robust earthy flavours. The carrots were tender & sweet, but she didn’t think that the poached egg contributed much to the party.
Desserts – available with matching dessert wine
Brûlée – Winter berries, pistachio biscotti, burnt sugar
Chocolate – Warm brownie, dark chocolate mousse, milk chocolate & hazelnut milkshake
Treacle Tart – Dorset clotted cream, honeycomb, toffee sauce
Ice Cream – Handcrafted ice-creams and sorbets, tuille biscuit
Cheese – Dorset Brie, Somerset cheddar, Blue Vinney, grapes, Bridge House chutney, fudges biscuits
I like an old-fashioned dessert and treacle tart is one of my favourites. A firm rich treacle filling, with light and crisp pastry. A bit sweet for me, but I’m sure it will be perfect for a dessert aficionado.
Vicky’s chocolate dessert was a chocoholic dream, warm gooey rich chocolate sponge. Served with an equally decadent milkshake and a silky smooth mousse.
We were now officially full and time to head upstairs to sink into a massive six foot bed! But what a pleasant way to spend a Wednesday evening, big thanks to Julie, Kirsty & Sol, for looking after us so well.
After a very comfortable night, it was time for breakfast. There was a lot to choose from, BridgeHouse Full English, BridgeHouse Vegetarian, kippers, smoked haddock, eggs every way possible. We thoroughly enjoyed the Full English with sausages from the local butcher and the BridgeHouse Vegetarian option.
The new Autumn Menu certainly has plenty to offer discerning diners, each dish has been well thought through, utilising the finest autumnal ingredients. We really enjoyed our mini break at the Bridge, everyone was so friendly and helpful. Not only is it worth visiting the Bridge House to try their Autumn Menu, there is a lot going on this winter too:-
- Bridge House Cocktail Nights with Lloyd Brown www.bridge-house.co.uk/cocktails Read Hope’s review here Cocktail and Canapés
- Mini Breaks in Dorset – Enjoy a three night dinner, bed and breakfast www.bridge-house.co.uk/breaks-in-dorset
- Fish & Chip Night and Weekday Dining www.bridge-house.co.uk/mainrestmenu
- Your Bridge House Christmas Party www.bridge-house.co.uk/your-bridge-house-christmas-party
- Christmas at Bridge House www.bridge-house.co.uk/christmas
- New Year at Bridge House www.bridge-house.co.uk/NewYearDorset
Hotel & Restaurant
3 Prout Bridge
|Invited by PR company?||Yes|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||Yes|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||Yes|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||Yes|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||Yes B&B|