“A modern British restaurant and bar focusing on native ingredients, memory and place” – The Wilderness.
When I first heard about The Wilderness, I was instantly intrigued. The concept is different. The decor is well thought out. And, the menu is exciting – constantly changing in line with the weather. Yep, you read that right. The food on offer is sought from local farms and native ingredients are used to reflect the outdoors at the time of serving. And, what’s even better? They do a tasting menu so you can try every little bit of it.
Harry and I had our 2 year anniversary coming up, and I was eager to try The Wilderness out. So, I booked us in as a Saturday lunch treat to celebrate. We chose the 5 course taster menu for £35 each. You can opt for a drink pairing with each course (the ‘full story’) for £70 per person, but we weren’t wild enough to do that much day drinking (we’re fun really, I promise…)
What I should point out before we go any further, is that the 5 course taster menu advertised, actually turns out to be 8. Winning! On top of the courses listed, you are given an aperitif, bread (which by the way, was the best bread I think I’ve ever had. And no, I’m really not exaggerating), and some skull salted caramel chocolates at the very end to finish the whole deliciousness off. Divine. Pretty good deal, huh?!
Following on from the aperitif, our first course was Halibut, vanilla, sugar snaps, confit almond and chive. I love trying out taster menus as it gives me the opportunity to try different foods I wouldn’t generally pick in a restaurant – in this case, fish. But, I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did this starter look really appetising, it tasted great too. This was the perfect combination to start. It was a really light and fresh dish, and the halibut was not strong at all – perfect for me!
As our first main, we had trout, burnt onion, leek and dashi. Again, the fish element of this course made me a little nervous (don’t ask me why), but once again, this was surprisingly good and I was a big fan of the trout – shock! It’s fair to say this dish went down a treat – another all gone!
For our second main,(because whoever said there was a limit on how many you can have?), we had iron age pork, parsley, black garlic, moss and mushrooms. Served with a pop of colour, before even tasting this dish my eyes lit up. Oh, they’re good at appealing to all the senses aren’t they?! Then came the tasting. The pork was so tender and full of flavour that every mouthful heard me saying “oh my god, this is so good”, (which doesn’t happen often), whilst the remaining ingredients complimented the dish perfectly. This was my favourite course of them all, and I would happily eat this again right about now. Yum.
Onto the sweet stuff. As someone with a rather large sweet tooth (oops), I was very pleased that there was not 1, but 2 desserts on the menu. The first, simply described as rhubarb, was a modern take on the classic rhubarb crumble. Light, fresh and delightfully delicious. Enough said?
To finish, was the pea, mint and white chocolate. My first thought – pea?! Don’t be put off. This was my favorite dessert and was so good. The addition of the mint and ‘pea’ really helped the dish to stay fresh and light, whilst the white chocolate was the perfect indulgement. I definitely could have eaten more of this! De-licious.
As well as the food, the hospitality was also spot on, making this the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for a special treat. Or, if you just fancy some really good food in a cool setting. Have a look guys, it’s definitely worth a visit!