Nose to tail lamb dinner @ Winford Manor: Review

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Nose to Tail Winford Manor menu


This guest review comes from Sarah Harding, who blogs over at Bedsit Bonne Vivante. You can see more of Sarah’s reviews for Bristol Bites here


My friend Chris and I have been trying to go out for dinner together for months. I am inevitably flaky and disorganised and he doesn’t tend to go out to eat until 8pm by which time I am half cut on a Wednesday in the pub, so we needed a event to get us both to stick to a date. Queue Ash Haskins promoting his nose to tail lamb tasting menu from his new position up at Winford Manor, just five minutes from the Airport (about 20-30 mins from Bristol centre). I had missed Ash when he was chefing over at The Battleaxes so it seemed the perfect opportunity to meet him and eat my own body weight in lamb. Perfect. (Also if you remember I like to collect chefs so wild horses couldn’t keep me away).

On arrival I was very impressed with the grounds, the bar and restaurant were obviously a new build, very modern, light and airy and walking down the corridor to the seating area you could have a sneak peek at the chefs in the kitchen. Perfect perving opportunity. We were seated next to the window with a lovely view of the surrounding lawn, mini maze and features and were offered bread and olives. A nice start to a six course tour de force.

The first course of canapés was all built around the lamb theme, of course. A wooden board (one of the rare times this is allowed) was presented and we were served heart crostini, shoulder bon bons with mint sauce and a lamb kofte. My favourite was the bon bon, I could have just eaten those suckers like popcorn and we both agreed the kofte was lovely, with a good kick of spice that would have perhaps benefited with a little yogurt dip or similar. Overall a lovely start.


Winford Manor - Canapes


The next course was a wild garlic velouté with crisp tongue. Sadly me and wild garlic don’t mix, I always taste seafood when I eat it and no one else does. I fear I have a synapse misfiring somewhere. However, the soup was light and full of flavour and the crisped tongue was well seasoned and tasted great especially mixed in with the soup. The wild garlic was picked on the grounds so that made it extra special.


Winford Manor - Veloute


Third course was a salad of confit belly, Homewood ricotta, green, white and purple asparagus and heritage tomatoes. It was lovely to have another lighter dish that showcased the seasonal produce out right now. The asparagus was crisp and full of flavour, the tomatoes were firm and juicy and the ricotta creamy. We both agreed the belly was perhaps too crisp for the dish as it left everything a little dry but saying that it was full of lamb flavour which complemented the salad.


Winford Manor - Confit Belly


Fourth course was the shepherd’s pie…and what a pie it was! Slow cooked lamb shoulder in a thick gravy with plenty of sage; a cheesy, crisp topping and a side of heritage carrots and peas with added pea shoots. It was heaven and better than anyone’s mum’s. I have always had a love/hate relationship with mince so having tender shoulder instead was a winner for me. “Properly refined, comforting home cooking”, as Chris put it, and I couldn’t say it better. Definitely the highlight of the meal for me.


Winford Manor - Shepherds Pie


The last savoury course was a lamb rack with a faggot, burnt onion purée, fondant potato and purple sprouting broccoli. The lamb was cooked just right for me, nice and pink in the middle and well-seasoned with crisp fat. The purée was sweet and thick: I would have taken a bowl of that for dipping! The gravy rich and viscous, the fondant wasn’t as crispy as I would have liked but it was nice to have something that was a little lighter than the meat on the plate and the broccoli again was a nice contrast.


Winford Manor - Rack of Lamb


Pudding was a struggle. Not because it was bad, far from it No, I was just full. A ewes curd cheesecake appeared with poached strawberries, strawberry sauce and white chocolate with a hazelnut coating on the side. My eating partner made good headway with his, polishing it off like a pro. I bow down to him and his Olympic pool-sized stomach. The cheesecake was light with a fresh lemon flavour and the strawberry sauce was sweet and sticky. I will have to try getting hold of some ewes curd as this versatile ingredient is delicious!


Winford Manor - Dessert


Overall the meal was fantastic and you cannot argue with the value for money, at only £25 per head and the incredibly reasonable wine list (I had a 250ml glass of Shiraz and it was only £5.95) we came away spending less than £60 between the two of us. I couldn’t tell you anywhere else locally that would offer the same level of food and number of courses for less. Ash is really putting down some roots at Winford and putting his stamp on things and long may it continue. I highly recommend keeping your eye out for more events like this in the future.


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