The Elderflower, Lymington

December 1, 2017 1:02 pm / by

I visit many restaurants and I do not like giving negative reviews so I only blog when I have had an exceptional experience. Last night, whilst on holiday, my wife and I visited this delightful restaurant in Lymington and had the most amazing time. As it was the start of Christmas season the menu was themed on the Twelve Days of Christmas so one could choose a la carte or have a tasting menu of five, seven or all twelve courses. We went for the seven course menu at £75 per head. As the courses were so varied we also opted for the wine pairing at £35 each. I was nervous about this as my experience of wines paired with food has not always been great but I need not have worried. The wines were expertly chosen by the very knowledgeable sommelier.

Here is what we had:

1. A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Spiced poached pear, partridge parfait, smoked partridge consommé. Paired with Dry Moscatel from Douro. This was a stunning pairing.

2. Two Turtle Doves

Pigeon boudin, pickled raisins, mulled wine jelly, vinegar snow. Paired with Alsace Riesling.

3. Four Colly Birds

Turkey & squid ink risotto, home-cured bacon, octopus, smoked mussels. Paired with Sancerre.

4. Five Gold Rings

Seared sea bass, saffron pickled swede, crispy shallot rings, Mont D’or. Paired with Alsace Gewurtztraminer.

5. Six Geese a Laying

Roast goose, liver & dark chocolate pate, parsnip & white chocolate, red cabbage. Paired with Australian Pinot Noir. This was the one wine pairing which did not quite work for me. The goose was delicious as was the wine but I thought the sauce overpowered the Pinot. A fascinating discussion with the sommelier followed. He assured me that a Bordeaux or a Syrah/Shiraz would be too much for the dish. In the end we agreed that Pinotage might well work so he is going to try that combination!

6. Nine Ladies Dancing

Dark chocolate, mascarpone parfait, rose & lychee sorbet, champagne. Paired with a cocktail of rose water vodka, orgeat, cranberry & sparkling wine.

7. Twelve Drummers Drumming

Christmas pudding soufflé, brandy ice cream. Paired with PX sherry. I have always said Christmas pud and PX is a match made in heaven and I am delighted that the sommelier agrees!

This was a highly imaginative menu with a stunning combination of flavours and textures and carefully chosen wine pairings. I thoroughly recommend this restaurant and we will definitely return when we are next in the area.



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