Gourmet Dining in the Forest of Dean – Tudor Farmhouse Hotel

If you’re feeling peckish, with a couple of hours free on a weekday, and fancy a real dining treat, do what I did – take your loved one to the Tudor Farmhouse Hotel in Clearwell and dig into chef Rob Cox’  lunchtime  Menu, the 5 Course Taster. You won’t be disappointed believe me. On arrival we were met by Hari the owner who was attentive and informative throughout. The dining room is intimate and characterful without being claustrophobic and it was great to hear other diners’ murmurs of appreciation as they similarly enjoyed themselves.

Sometimes you feel like you’re taking your life in your hands with a taster menu and when Hari mentioned that the White Onion Soup with duck egg also had smoked prunes and granola I did experience a moment of panic as I wondered what other eccentric combinations might be flying my way over the following couple of hours but I needn’t have worried, it was great: sweet, rich, creamy, nutty, with just enough smoke to keep it savoury, and things got better with each passing course culminating in a wonderful bittersweet chocolate pudding.

To go with the food,  we had the Flight of Wines which provided some excellent pairings. It would be tough to judge the best but for my palate the Yealands 2015 Pinot Noir  (served with the Pork Belly) was a belter, loads of fruit, controlled tannins and a great finish, closely followed (accompanying the Cod Bourride, god that sauce!) by the Quercus Pinot Grigio,  a vibrant surprise from Slovenia –  Slovenia ? Who knew?

The menu changes with some regularity but you can see the highlights below and we can’t wait to head back shortly to try the 7 Course Tasting Dinner. So, do yourself a favour and head down there for a couple of hours of unmitigated pleasure – ideally with someone who is willing to drive you home………

Cod and Prawn Bourride
Cod and Prawn Bourride
Quercus Pinot Grigio 2017
Quercus Pinot Grigio 2017
White onion soup, duck egg, smoked prunes, granola
White onion soup, duck egg, smoked prunes,
Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc 2017
Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc 2017
Cornish ray Wing, brown shrimp, brown butter, leek, potato
Cornish ray Wing, brown shrimp, brown butter, leek, potato
Amano Fiano/Greco 2016
Amano Fiano/Greco 2016
Old Spot pork belly, charred baby gem, red prawn, cauliflower, marjoram jus
Old Spot Pork Belly, charred baba gem, red prawn, cauliflower, marjoram jus
Yealands 2016 Pinot Noir
Yealands 2016 Pinot Noir
Chocolate Tart, confit orange sorbet, Grand Marnier chantilly
Chocolate Tart, confit orange sorbet, Grand Marnier chantilly
Pedro Jimenez NV (El Candado)
Pedro Jimenez NV (El Candado)

 Tudor Farmhouse, High Street, Clearwell, 01594 833046; tudorfarmhousehotel.co.uk. Lunch served 12 – 2pm.