It’s Throwback Thursday and as I’ve been revisiting my England trip file I had to re-share this gem; this event that to this day I still get teased about 🙂
My husband’s Aunt and Uncle live in Devon, England. I had heard it was a very picturesque area and was looking forward to visiting it and them since the last time we saw them was when they came to our wedding here in the states a couple of years ago. Like a big kid I was excited about having to take the train from London’s Paddington Station down to Exeter. Goofy me was making jokes about “Cool! This will be like Harry Potter and the gang going off to Hogwarts!” DH dared me to try and walk through a wall.
Uncle R had already gotten us our tickets and reserved us seats. It took us two hours to get from London to Exeter so I took a nap during half of it. Lovely ride in a quiet car. When we arrived I saw Uncle R waving for us and away we went. We went on the grand tour of the area and saw some amazing sites. The camera was in my lap at the ready and there were many times he would pull over and I’d leap out to take pictures or just hang out the window.
Auntie P told us we were going to have lunch at this very smart restaurant that was in a historical manor. Never heard of the manor but when she told us of it’s history I was excited. You see, we were going to lunch at the Purple Carrot at the Lewtrenchard Manor. What’s that you say? Have you heard of the hymn Onward Christian Soldiers or the story Pygmalion or the movie My Fair Lady? This is the guy who wrote the hymn and upon whom that story and movie are based. The place and grounds are positively amazing but as we entered the manor, we were forewarned by Auntie P that this was the kind of restaurant that served all sorts of really good nouveau cuisine, ie. good stuff small portions. Gotcha!
We had a bottle of wine before we were seated and were treated to quite the dining experience. And that’s where my near disaster comes in. Served in a martini glass was a bit of a pre-appetizer. It was a quails egg with some sort of bacon or ham in a bit of some sauce. I forget what the dish was as after the egg I was mortified. Beautiful presentation but I still cringe a bit thinking about what I happened. I scooped up the little darling with my spoon and popped it into my mouth and bit into it. I had forgotten that over there their eggs are almost always soft boiled, so guess what? Soft boiled quail’s egg yolk shot out of my not totally closed yet mouth and across the white table cloth in Auntie P’s direction. I was soooooooo embarrassed!
I tried to mop up the evidence with my napkin in spite of the playful teasing from DH and family; that vivid shade of yellow stayed a bright yellow. So I moved the bread basket on top of the stain hoping to hide my faux pas until we left. Somebody that day joked “Move the basket and let the server see what you did.” Thanks ever so much. After that hiccup in the dining road, the rest of the meal was wonderful with impeccable service – and accident free.
Afterwards, we had our appetizers. Small, but excellent presentation and flavorful. Can’t recall what these two appetizers were outside of the first has cauliflower in a curry and the second was hamhock something or other with pickles. Then it got really interesting! The black plate is actually a slab of slate. My main course was served on a piece of slate! What I had was a tasting of local pork with celeriac and apple. DH had the baked sea trout with shrimp, cucumber, and tomato.
And for desert we both had the rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice cream. First time I had ever eaten rhubarb in my life. I liked it!
This was a dining experience to remember – in more ways than – in a beautiful historic English manor.