Restaurant review: The Garden Restaurant at Orsett Hall

By the husband (Gary Pearson)

ENJOYING the beautiful late evening sun, sipping a gin and tonic seated within the vast and beautiful grounds at Orsett Hall, I found myself thinking life could be a lot worse…

The Garden Restaurant at Orsett Hall, Gary Pearson
The Garden Restaurant at Orsett Hall, Gary Pearson

Orsett Hall is a lovely place and I was more than looking forward to sampling the restaurant’s summer menu.
It wasn’t long before I realised the food was every bit as good as the view.

My wife Katy went for soup of the day for a starter, while I opted for the poached langoustines. Delicious would be an understatement.

Mine came with a gorgeous little lump of crispy pork, a chervil (French parsley) and mango mayonnaise. A truly heavenly surf ’n’ turf.

Katy’s tomato soup was good, too. I had a little spoonful (or two) and it was incredibly fresh. Superb.

After a start like this, the mains had to hit the ground running. And they did.

A juicy, and rather plump, glazed piece of rump (Dedham Vale beef) came with crispy potato, tender stem broccoli,  wild garlic and a shallot jus.

The rump was the tastiest I’ve had in some time. Full of flavour, perfectly cooked rare/medium.

Katy’s Braxted lamb cannon came with minted pea puree, asparagus and salsa verde. The lamb was supremely succulent.

But it was the dessert which stole the show. Carrott cake, which came in a mini flowerpot, containing three or four of the sweetest tiny carrots buried in among the ‘earth’ (the phenomally moist and exquisitely sweet cake).

It was real spectacle and talking with head chef Robert Pearce afterwards, you quickly pick up on his passion for presentation.

He told how the quality of the food was kept high by inspiring his staff to help set the menus.

“That way they can prepare and cook something they have helped create, it works,” he said.

And he’s right, it does. The restaurant and its surrounds are perfect for a special occasion.

It’s not cheap, but you’ll get value for money, and brilliant service (thanks Andre!) People say you get what you pay for, and that’s certainly the case at Orsett Hall.

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