I have a wonderful life.
I’ve got a beautiful daughter, a fabulous family and some seriously generous friends.
When you have a baby, you receive millions of clothes, packs and packs (and packs!) of nappies, an endless supply of sudocream and oh wait, a voucher to go and dine at one of the most prestigious eateries in the North West.
Yes, our good friend James (you know who you are!) thought it would be nice for us, as new parents, to treat ourselves during what is of course the most amazing time in our lives, but what is also, hands down, the most tiring.
So off Maggie went to stay with Nana and Grandpa while me and Mr. GTMHTC ventured back out to do what we do best: Eat.
A night at Northcote Manor
So first of all, I know this is a food blog but Friday night was just too much of a lovely experience between me and Mr. GTHTC to get my iPhone out and start snapping; the occasion too special to spoil with my mobile, so I will do this the old-fashioned way.
You all know why I love food: Because it makes you feel something.
What I loved most about our meal at Northcote was the thought behind every dish – from the visual through to the taste, every element felt as if it had been thought about in such great detail I could almost see the chefs exploring how to plate it or what flavours work best together.
We chose the Gourmet menu at £70 per person and it was worth every penny.
Five courses and a bottle of wine later, me and Mr. GTMHTC were sat in a stylish lounge, sipping a beautifully bitter and much needed expresso, in total awe of what we’d just had the pleasure of eating.
I want to be able to allow you to experience what we did on Friday evening, but only you can truly do that by perhaps pushing the boat out a little and treating yourself.
Below are some brief descriptions of some of those wondrous courses, but for me it wasn’t just about the food.
The dimly lit dining room, the low hum of chatter from couples, friends, large tables, small tables, the distinct sound of wine glasses being filled with every kind imaginable from all over the World, the detailed explanations of food from waiters and waitresses dressed chicly in white and black and most of all, the delicate scent of food weaving itself around the restaurant.
There’s eating and then there’s eating isn’t there?
When you go all out on something like this, you need to be taken somewhere; you need to be transported to places in your mind and feel things that only food can make you feel.
From the freshest scallops served raw, to the sweetest apple cheesecake, the whole experience from start to finish celebrated everything that is absolutely amazing about British food and British producers.
I felt proud and privileged to eat such charming and delightful dishes, so thank-you to everyone – from James who thought of the idea, to the man who cleared our table, I cannot wait to do it again – it is my birthday on Thursday after all…just saying aha!
I admit I was wary about two elements of the menu: The scallop tartare and the veal.
They will both however remain as two of the most delicious things I have ever eaten, especially the scallop which was so fresh and creamy until that ever so subtle hint of fiery wasabi came through. Just beautiful.
The veal was rare and smooth and a joy to try for the first time.
The celeriac and chestnut ravioli was so rich and comforting and even more to the point, Christmassy!
That dish was surprisingly my favourite part of the whole thing.
So yes, was it worth it?
No doubt about it.
And I’m afraid everything we’ve eaten since has been pretty damn boring…