My husband thought we deserved a treat, we’re hard working parents and we don’t get much ‘us’ time. So we pushed the boat out and went for lunch at Launceston Place. After a warm welcome we were given our choice of table, my husband is very particular about where he sits, coincidently we were sat opposite a very inviting cheese trolley. The restaurant is very intimate but the spacing between tables is not intrusive. The decor is modern and homely. It was a sunny day so the light poured in through the front windows, these windows are great for people watching, passers by check out the menu and peer in to see what’s on your plates.
We started with a glass of rose champagne, it’s rude not to! We didn’t bother to look at the menus as we had already decided to do the tasting menu, with paired wines.
A very happy girl
First of the Amuse bouche were cheese biscuits and they were incredible, my mouth was definitely amused and ready for more.
Next a variety of tomatoes which followed the cheese perfectly.
Tomato Amuse Bouche
Now I was set for the main event. Quail was the first course. It arrived in two parts, the legs were served on smoked hay, a small glass cloche was removed to reveal a puff of smoke. The remainder of the quail was served separately accompanied by a deep fried egg wrapped in potato spaghetti, the dish as a whole was gorgeous, and also my favourite.
QuailQuail, new corn, verjus truffle and legs smoked in hay
Second course was pork jowl. I really actually enjoy eating pigs faces, it’s incredible how tender the meat is. The cracking balanced on top of the pork was absolutely perfect! I found the apricot a little tart, but it definitely cut through the flavours. Another stunning dish.
Pork Jowl, apricot, red chicory and Scottish girolles
Third course wild salmon, as I’m not a fish fan my husband always tells me to substitute the dish but I always decline as I want to experience the full tasting menu as the chef created it. I enjoyed the dish especially the crayfish element. The tomatoes were beautiful too, they were like tiny tin tomatoes, and I love tin tomatoes.
Wild Salmon, English crayfish, seashore herbs and vine tomatoes
Fourth course Grouse. This was my first time eating grouse, it certainly will not be my last. I will be sure to look out for it. The taste was very similar to pheasant, a very delicate flavour. I enjoyed every element to this dish, the foie gras cannelloni, the figs, the elderberries. What a great build up of courses to this fantastic finale.
Allenheads Grouse, sourdough puree, foie gras cannelloni, Provence figs, sprouts and preserved elderberries
The grouse shooting season had not long started before our visit so we were fortunate for it to appear on our tasting menu. We were actually the first dinners to sample the tasting menu of the autumn which came into affect that day. So after every course the staff were keen for our feedback.
Next we surrendered to the cheese trolley. Not that we really had much room but it seemed like a wasted opportunity if we didn’t partake in some cheese. I really enjoy listening to all the descriptions of the cheeses. It’s amazing how much the staff have to memorise. I opted for some British hard cheeses and Stilton.
Dessert time. First of the desserts was lemon cream, lemon curd ice cream and granite. The description sums it up. I could have easily eaten another of these, or two, or three. It was absolutely delicious, lovely and light, refreshing and it left my mouth feeling very satisfied.
Lemon cream, lemon curd ice cream and granite
Next of the desserts, Raspberry Delice. I adore the combination of raspberry and white chocolate. This was another delicious light satisfying dessert, I would have liked a more generous portion of chocolate aero but that’s because it tasted so good and I’m a bit of a chocoholic hehe!
Raspberry Delice, white chocolate aero and caramelised white chocolate
We had the paired wines with our tasting menu. The sommelier was fascinating and very passionate about the wines. I am getting more knowledgeable about wines but I still don’t know where to start when handed a wine list. I enjoy sampling the sommeliers choices and listening to the explanations, I feel it adds to the whole dining experience.
We ordered coffee, we always order coffee to receive the petit fours, then we sit back and savour the moment.
The service at Launceston Place is fantastic, the food is incredible. The staff were very coy when asked about possibly receiving a second Michelin star. Personally after comparing this to the other two star restaurants I have eaten at this year I can see very little difference and I think they thoroughly deserve a second star and hope they achieve it. Good luck Launceston Place!