It’s Tapas night!

As I write, the first splash of spring sunshine is grazing my keyboard. I’m not quite transported to the hills of Andalusia but it’s amazing how the first hints of spring make me want to move from eating pies and sumptuous stews to the vibrant colours and flavours of southern Europe. Tapas night is one my favourite of our gourmet nights, and the menu this year is as inviting and lively as ever.

Creamy Leek and Mussel soup, pillowy tortilla and a variety of pintxos are all part of our fabulous Tapas night

Drawing from his travels through the Basque region, including the food paradise of San Sebastián, and time spent in Andalusia and Valencia, Stuart has perfected a unique menu that highlights the flavours of Spanish cuisine that enhance the relaxed feel of an evening spent with good friends, good food and a crisp drop of manzanilla.

Tapas originates from the practice of using a saucer as a cover for a glass of wine. These covers were adorned with tasty morsels of food to attract customers, which soon became as popular as the wine, with bar owners seeking to produce the most flavoursome flashes of local flavour.

Fennel and orange give vibrant notes of Spanish flavour to our tapas dishes such as creamy mussel, leek and fennel soup, or succulent duck leg slowly cooked and infused with orange and warm Moorish spices.

Our menu showcases the best of Spanish food, from the simplicity of Iberico Ham, to the delicate complexity of a salt cod and parsley croquette, we want to take you on a journey through this enticing country from the comfort of our warm and vibrant restaurant.

Warm and lively, Paprika brings a unique flavour to our Chicken Pinchitos.

We’ll introduce you to Pinchitos (or Pintxos), the Basque version of Tapas. The principle of little plate is the same, but Pintxos are always served on skewers. Or perhaps you fancy indulging in a unique taste of Valencia, with our Squid, Fennel and Morcilla stew. Morcilla is found throughout Spain, and the recipe varies with plenty of regional rivalry as to which if the best. We find the warm spicing of recipe common to Valencia is the perfect seasoning for this flavoursome dish.

Moorish influence on Spanish cuisine peppers our Tapas menu.

Desserts are a splendid as ever, Crema Catalana is my personal pick, originally created to celebrate the feast of St. Joseph, this dense, luxurious cream borrows from Crème Brulée, with the flavourings of citrus and caramel that belie its Catalan origins. Or finish you meal with a zing of lime and chilli sorbet. Add in the fact that we have music from the fabulous Synergy and you can be sure we’ll have a gorgeous evening that will really make you feel summer is on it’s way.

Call 01952 580240 to join us on the 6th of April and journey through the delights of Spanish cuisine, all for just £27.95.



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Now’s the time to pickle !

Pickling and preserving has always been part of the kitchen and using natural preservatives such as vinegar and sugar means that the short season for fresh produce can be extended through the dark winter months.

Bright, fresh flavours cheer the dullest day.

As well as the obvious practicality, pickling for flavour had a renaissance over the last few years. We’ve moved from regarding it solely as a way of preserving our crops, to understanding how much the unique blend of crunch and piquancy creates a pleasing contrast to richer ingredients.  If you’ve had chance to taste our Ham Hock and Black Pudding Terrine, you’ll know exactly what I mean.

Ham Hock and Black Pudding Terrine with Pickled Carrots

Executive Chef, Stuart Phillips explains that new equipment ,such as the steam oven makes creating innovative flavours even more enjoyable. He talked me through the how he creates the pickled carrots that feature in the Ham Hock and Black Pudding Terrine. As with all good things, it’s deceptively simple. Sugar, vinegar and water are combined to make a hot brine, which is poured over blanched carrots, herbs from our garden, a blend of spices and zing of lemon for a subtle citrus kick.

Baby carrots, chilli, herbs from our garden and a spike of citrus all ready for the alchemy of the kitchen.





These gorgeous goodies are steamed for around ten minutes at eighty degrees, in either vacuum packs or jars and that’s it. Sadly the exact recipe is a HH secret, but a little experimentation you could create something similar at home. Personally I’d just nip down to the Hundred House for a mini feast !

Ten minutes at 80° transforms a few simple ingredients into something special.

The fresh flavours are so different to the vinegar laden jars of beetroot many of us have languishing at the back of the fridge. The sophisticated choice of flavours and the quick steam method creates a bright,sparky pickle that instantly becomes best friends with the other ingredients on the plate. I love it !





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