Eating in the Hotel TerraVina restaurant is a real event. Although we got to our table at 7.30 we didnâ€™t leave until gone 10. Even so, the time seemed to whiz by, and we never felt like we were left waiting for anything.
With an open kitchen and bustling atmosphere, we discovered that most evenings the restaurant is full not only with guests, but with local regulars. Although not the cheapest place to eat, the hotel offers some good overnight stays that include dinner, which are definitely worth checking out.
Along with our menus came a welcome glass of champagne. Iâ€™ll hold my hands up and admit Iâ€™m not a big drinker and in no way a wine connoisseur, but I thought this drink was absolutely delicious and may have possibly drank some of Justinâ€™s after finishing up my own (shhhh!).
Locally sourced food
The menu offered a great variety of dishes, with much of the food locally sourced. We devoured the freshly baked olive ciabatta brought to our table, but even so, still managed to find room for a starter, main and dessert each.
I chose the ham hock terrine with quail eggs and fennel croutes to start, with lamb, pommes anna, artichoke puree and sprouting broccoli for my main.
Tender, well-cooked meat
Justin went for the terrine of slow confit rabbit with duck liver and a main of roast venison and snails. The flavours were strong and delicious, with great taste combinations. My first ever taste of snail wasnâ€™t bad either â€“ Justin said it was completely different to his past experiences, well cooked and tender, as was all the meat we were served.
I often find that high-end restaurants offer small portions, so I was also impressed with the size of our dishes when they came out.
Trying out new flavours and tastes
Even though we were stuffed, we did manage to squeeze in dessert. I decided to try something a bit different, so ordered a bitter chocolate fondant with treacle and barley ice cream. The fondant was a taste sensation to this chocoholic, but as I expected, the ice cream wasnâ€™t to my taste. More black treacle than golden syrup, it wasnâ€™t for me, but I always think its good to try something new and on this occasion, this worked out well for Justin!
He very much enjoyed his choice of panna cotta with honey ice cream, but the highlight for him was the baked toffee apples. Small, soft and sweet, heâ€™d never seen anything like this before as a dessert and thought they were delicious.
As mentioned in my review of the Hotel TerraVina, this place excels at customer service, with attentive, knowledgeable waiting staff on hand at all times. The owners, who were also the co-founders of the Hotel du Vin chain, are also very hands on, with Nina Basset overseeing the restaurant/kitchen all evening and her husband Gerard, a renowned wine specialist with titles including Master Sommelier, in charge of the drinks.
Dining in the Hotel TerraVina restaurant isnâ€™t just about the food, but the entire experience, and itâ€™s one I enjoyed thoroughly and would love to have again!
Our meal at the Hotel TerraVina restaurant was complimentary for the purpose of review, but all opinions are my own. To find out more about the hotel and restaurant, visitÂ the Hotel TerraVina website.