At this fantastic little gem of a restaurant, Head Chef Jessie Dunnford-Wood has created just that. A place for people to connect and converse all while enjoying delicious food that's guaranteed to keep everyone gathered round the table.
This all-day restaurant is popular with locals thanks to its relaxed atmosphere and the friendly staff who strike the fine balance of being warm, welcoming and attentive, without being intrusive.
While there is an a la carte menu, I recommend ordering the superb 10-course taster menu, which is perfect for whiling away a few hours with friends, while enjoying a magically playful dining experience.
We kicked things off with a glass of cava, which was served with six homemade syrups you could use should you choose – the apple pie being our favourite of the lot. If you’re not drinking, the syrups are equally delicious paired with sparkling water.
While we loved everything on the 10-course menu, some of our favourite highlights included:
- The backdoor smoked salmon: Smoked in-house, this fabulously fresh and meaty salmon was served with deep fried (in duck fat) crispy salmon skins (which added a bit of texture), then topped with caviar, samphire and sour cream. Lush.
- Their signature soda bread, which had a lovely sweetness
- The seasonal chestnut hummus - smooth and sweet and a nice alternative to the standard chickpea version
- The spinach and basil oil soup with cheese dumplings - great comfort food at its finest and perfect for warming one's cockles on a cold day
- The duck liver profiteroles with crushed almond and plum sauce; and the blue cheese custard with nut crumble., perfect examples of how Head Chef Jessie likes to give a unique twist to classic British dishes
To compliment the tasting menu, we were recommended a delicious Bulgarian Bordeaux, which paired beautifully with the dishes.
Given this was my first experience of a tasting menu, I didn’t know what to expect, however, the enthusiasm and knowledge of chefs Lorenzo, Matthew and Blondine brought an almost theatrical element to the experience.
Other food to enjoy
Parlour’s signature dish, Desperate Dan’s Cow Pie, is large enough for sharing. The tasty gravy with chunks of juicy, tender meat covered in a blanket of light melt-in-your mouth buttery pastry, is a must! For the locals reading this, they are currently doing a pie night every Wednesday, with two pints, a pie and two sides for £20!.
We paired the mixed roast with a slightly weightier Argentian Malbec, which was the perfect choice. To round this all off, we were brought a tray of digestives to choose from, which was a nice end to the meal.
To move from savoury to sweet, we were given the ‘Magic Pill’ experience. This much celebrated miracle fruit officially named 'synsepalum dulcificam' originates from Ghana. When you chew it it transforms your taste buds for about 10 minutes making everything taste sweet. It's an incredible taste experience and sets you up nicely for the desserts. At this point we were about three hours in to our meal and loving every minute of it!
Desserts included cheesecake with apple crumble, salted caramel rollos, chocolate fudge and a cheese board as we had to try the home-made Eccles cake and the whipped goats cheese.
We rolled out with our bellies full, smiles on our faces and a sense there's no better way to spend a cold drizzly Sunday. We can't to visit in springtime to enjoy brunch in the garden. See you there!