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I’ve recently moved on a more permanent basis to Sheffield. More precisely to Whirlow which is a sleepy suburb in the south west of the city near the Peak District. A lack of local food shops make me (as a non-car driver) panic but there is a good Sainsburys and excellent Waitrose not too far away. Up a winding hill above Whirlow sits Whirlow Hall which was founded in 1979 as an educational trust working with inner city children and young people with special needs or disabilities. Its a nice stroll away from the house and is sometimes the target following a carb heavy Sunday Lunch. They have recently upgraded their cafe serving a wider menu including their delicious home-made cakes. The farm shop has been somewhat expanded selling a small amount of veg along with some delicious sausages and meats from the farm. If you are in the area, it is definitely worth a visit.
Dinner with friends that we met on our recent round the world jaunt tempted me to book a restaurant reflecting where we met in Peru but I remember them mentioning an affection for Covent Garden stalwart Rules and as I had never been there, that was where we booked.
The restaurant was established by Thomas Rule in 1798 and stands unchallenged as the oldest restaurant in London.
I was looked up and down by the doorman as I arrived which worried me that I was under dressed but after explaining our reservation he smiled and let us through. The entrance was very welcoming and we were taken through the eclectic dining room to our slightly awkward table for 4 near an alcove. Looking around though it seemed clear that there was a slight awkwardness to a lot of the tables so we got comfortable and took a look at the menu. Having had a few plates of tapas at Moritos at lunchtime we decided to go for main and most probably dessert.
I had the steak and kidney pudding and Rich had the Saddle of Lamb. Prices are around the £20-30 for mains so this is not cheap territory. The wines also started around mid twenties and quickly escalated though we found a decent enough Merlot for about £28 and enjoyed that.
My pudding was delicious and was packed with kidney and rich steak in gravy. Thankfully I was also given a boat of extra gravy to anoint the pudding. It was only served with a small amount of cabbage so sides are ordered which normally annoys me but they are pretty good sides and despite what they tell you are enough to share. I had excellent roast potatoes and Richard had the celeriac gratin. My pudding was so excellent that it turned a normally wary kidney eater like me to an out and out kidney fan. Sadly Richards lamb was, whilst cooked correctly a little tough and tasteless. The waiter asked his opinion before he even had a mouthful and sadly didn’t return for the verdict.
Desserts were on the whole superb especially my apple and blackberry crumble which came with a satisfying jug of custard and Brenda had a super retro white and dark chocolate arctic roll which came with extra chocolate sauce. Sadly Rich struck out again with his steamed chocolate pudding which was dense and even for him un-finishable. Being the generous man I am, I shared my crumble with him.
All in all an excellent meal if you choose wisely and I look forward to returning during game season to try the game there.
Time to restart the old food blog again. I do have a pretty good excuse as in May 2011 I decided to take a year to travel around the world. Well that year is up, and I came back a changed man so have decided to resign from work and to think about what to do next.
While I’m looking, I’ve got some time on my hands so I’ll have a go giving you the best food stories of the last year andprovide some ongoing news from my homes in Sheffield and London. The central part has now gone as I have left Leicester now (Bye bye Firenze **sob**)
Thanks for taking an interest.
Oh the London dining scene. Always looking for that new gimmick to spark interest in the sophisticated palates of the metropolitan diner. Bar breast milk ice-cream the most exciting frozen dessert is definitely the frozen on the spot ice cream served at Chin Chin Laboratories.
I read about this in Timout and wanted