It felt like years since our last proper Sunday lunch. Helen and I decided it was about time we had another – but cooked for us rather than done at home (although Helen’s garlic butter roast chicken is the best!).
That was a couple of weeks ago. So we decided to book the Montpellier Lodge.
The Monpellier Lodge has always been a bit of an odd place to me. I remember when it was empty and even after seeing building work and what seemed like renovations it still looked empty. I assumed it had fallen foul of a lack of money, which it may have done for a time (I have no way of knowing at this point) but it’s now open and serving.
We arrived for 1pm, slightly hungover from birthday parties the day before. The building seems small both inside and out, but seats quite a few people in a cosy, warm and inviting atmosphere. The large windows along one side of the room we were in allowed a great view of the gardens whilst still being comforted by the amazing smell of roast meats and vegetables.
Our table already had a bottle of water on it, an absolute must these days. I don’t mind asking in other places, but why not assume everyone will have some water and do this? Tick. The menu we had was different from what is on their site as of the 18th October.
Helen ordered the mackerel to start and I had the crispy black pudding blue cheese salad. We both ordered the beef for our main.
The food was relatively quick to come out and when it did neither of us were disappointed. Helen’s mackerel looked amazing but I didn’t try it; croquet sized parcels of fish with a salad. My black pudding starter was great and came with a beer glaze.
I wasn’t sure what to expect but I got a generous portion of salad mixed with small pieces of crispy coated black pudding, bacon, blue cheese and candied walnuts. The glaze was really good and suited the dish well. I’m not 100% sure how to describe it but it did work with all elements of the dish.
The beef was next. The slices of beef were just how you’d want them, pink, not too think and soft to cut and eat. The dish came with 3 roasties, a Yorkshire pudding, carrot and parsnip. A cauliflower cheese dish and a green bean, cabbage and onion side dish also came for Helen and I to share between us. Along with a small jug of super heated gravy that was hard to pour over the food as it was so hot.
All the food was great and I would go back. There were a couple of points however. I would have preferred slightly more gravy and I wish I had asked as I’m sure they would have accommodated my request. Personally I prefer a crispy parsnip, but that is 100% personal taste and it was nicely cooked, not soft or mushy which is often the case.
Lastly was the roast potatoes. I got three, two small and one larger. Great flavour, however they tasted like maybe they had been slightly over cooked or left under the heat lamps for a couple of hours. The outside looked crispy but was actually slightly soft and the coating was really thick, it was quite hard to cut, but again tasted great.
I loved the meal and will go back. This is a very special place and feels like an old family run pub in a modern contemporary setting.