Monday, 27 June 2016

ATE AT: The Old Bridge Hotel, Huntingdon

I'm very lucky living in the Midlands...a sentence many would be unlikely to say. But, hear me out.

Living in the Midlands (well, basically the South - 50 minutes from London) means having access to not only to the wide array of brilliant restaurants in London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leamington, Leicester...BUT, I have the luxury of Cambridge and Oxford not too far away. Huntingdon, part of Cambridgeshire, is about 40 minutes from my house and I have at least one definite reason to make that journey there.

I was invited to a friends 70th birthday lunch at the Old Bridge. This friend, well, he doesn't do bad food. Nor does he do bad atmosphere, bad décor or bad company.

I'll be honest, I wasn't entirely sure where Huntingdon was on the map, but I knew it wasn't far away and I couldn't resist an opportunity to try somewhere new.

I was kinda hoping it wouldn't just be Sunday roast options as I'd had 10 days of eating carby, heavy food in Italy and fancied something lighter - I was in luck.

The birthday boy had hired out one of the rooms so we were in this gloriously decorated room (which I failed to get a photo of!), we were served teas, coffees and Prosecco upon arrival and chatted for an hour or so before being seated to our grand table.

I set my eyes upon the menu and was thrilled to see a variety in dishes - not just roasts; fish options as well as a pasta option!

I had firmly made my mind up on a starter within 10 seconds of seasonal asparagus. I went for the asparagus, hollandaise and poached egg. At least half of the table (a table of 25) went for the crab croquettes, which I'm told were delicious.

The asparagus was cooked to perfection, the hollandaise is number two on by best ever hollandaise chart (nobody will ever beat beetroot hollandaise at Friends of Ours) and the egg was spot on.

For main, I decided on the seared tuna steak (served rare) with baby kale and grilled potatoes with lemon and crème fraiche . Again, beautiful. The tuna was cooked better than I've ever had before, the flavour of the kale wasn't overpowering and the potatoes were cooked with a soft inside and a very slight crunch to the outside - just how I like 'em.

All of the mains looked amazing, I saw a few with venison (apparently amazing), a beef roast (again, amazing), a few people with lamb. Opposite me sat a pasta dish; really tasty filling and al dente, just how it should be.

All in all, an incredibly happy table after the first two courses.
For pudding, I really couldn't decide and, unfortunately, I think I chose wrong (even though it was delicious). I went for the cheesecake with roasted apricots. Don't get me wrong, it was really really good. The cheesecake was the perfect texture, the apricots were okay but didn't completely wow me. But I mean, what do you expect from an apricot?

The other thing I wanted, the strawberry pavlova with basil ice cream. YES, basil ice cream. Sounds great doesn't it...well, that's what I wanted. I tried my friends next to me and the basil ice cream was incredible. Like seriously incredible. So, I had dessert envy, big time. Don't let that put you off the cheesecake though, it is really tasty. Just, the basil ice cream was on another level.
We finished off with teas, coffees and chatter before all heading in our different directions home.

We were made to feel incredibly welcome by our waiter (whose name I've rudely forgotten) and other staff we encountered while dining. The décor of the place is absolutely beautiful, a mixture of country home and estate house with a dash of modern thrown in. It's really hard to explain, but it's just got this great vibe to it - relaxed but an upmarket place to go.

The best news? A three course lunch is only £39. Which, for the quality of food, is an absolute bargain.

I'm already planning my next trip there to see what the rest of the menu is like!

Shout out to Hannah too - we've followed each other on Instagram for a while now and her parents actually own the place (which I didn't know!) It's a real credit to them, such a great place.


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