Sunday, 21 February 2016

72 hours

After a sedate start to half term spent doing odd jobs, seeing my God Daughters and taking Satinders children, Himmat and Anmol out to the cinema Friday arrived and launched me into a weekend of fun.
What started out as a keep it simple surprise girls night in for Satinders 40th with a Sophisticated Wine Tasting with Pieroth ended up with cocktails, cowboy hats and naked butlers! Finished off with lovely homemade Indian food from Laddi and a fabulous cake made by Chang. So much fun though. I left at 2am and it was still in full swing. 
So it was a somewhat paler than usual( yes it is possible, remarkably) and jaded Emma that met Jo and Glen at Marylebone to catch the 12.40 to Birmingham Snow Hill on Saturday morning. Still, armed with coffee from Valerie's and an M&S sandwich we boarded the train where we proceeded to open a very nice bottle of Champagne. The kill or cure method of hangover picked me up somewhat and I didn't even get a snooze on the train. We had a short walk on arrival to our Air B&B 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom flat right above the restaurant.
We took a bit of a wander to see the library and came back to have a rest and get ready for our evening out. 
As I've mentioned before my very generous sister takes Glen and I out for a fine dining meal every year and this year we were dining at (Glynn)  Purnell's, 1 Michelin*
We were greeted and seated in the living room, choosing to sit and have a drink before going to our table. We were booked to have the Brummie Tapas tasting menu and while we were having our drinks we were given the menu to peruse and asked if we had any questions. Trust me to ask the question that sent them into a spin and highlighted that one of the dishes had been slightly changed, off they went to re print the menu. I never did find out what an Albufeira sauce was, I'd only asked as we used to holiday there as children but it turned out with its change to sauce, to be my favourite course of the evening!!!
We started with Lime spiced potatoes with mayonnaise. OMG who knew lime and potatoes would go so well together?  Little balls of heaven. I was still dreaming about them as I went to sleep.
Followed by Bread and butter.....not any old bread and butter, it was baked with a black treacle and it was floaty light. In fact we were given 2 loaves to take home with us.
Next was a Beetroot mousse with horseradish crumble - salted beetroot. Lovely, but my least favourite course.
Next up was the much awaited Monkfish Masala from The Great British menu which was Jos favourite dish of the evening. It was outstanding.
Then my favourite, Loin of (Rose) Veal with Bordelaise, pomme dauphinois and black truffle. Despite the fact I am not overly keen on truffle this was heaven on a plate for me. Rich sauce made with stock and bone marrow and the meat was divine.
Then the deserts......Burnt English custard egg surprise, another GBM dish which scored Glynn 10,10,10 with a winter Rhubarb Trifle. The egg was everything you could wish for in a desert, the trifle was so tart that you couldn't make out most of the other flavours except for a hint of ginger but both gorgeous.
Then the table showstopper Mint choccy chip which was frozen at the table in front of us with liquid nitrogen. Impressive and tasted just like a frozen mint aero!
With the dining experience we had chosen each dish was brought to the table by the chef that had prepared it and they explained the dish to us which was a really nice touch. All the staff were fab.
The pastry chef then brought out a special Birthday dessert ( I wish I was 20yrs old! ) which was beautiful. We never did work out what the pink filling was but the pastry was the thinnest, crispiest, almondy perfection!
The space itself was beautiful, quirky and retro. The walk to the bathrooms was a bit rainforest cafe with jungle wallpaper and piped birdsong and you had to walk down a corridor watching yourself in a huge mirror accompanied by the harshest lighting. I looked like I'd gained a stone which possibly I had by the end of the evening! There was also a floor to ceiling window into the kitchen which was a bit......daunting? You wanted to have a peek but felt a bit naughty school girlish ( not completely foreign territory for me ) what do you do if they look up and catch your eye??? Smile and wave or blush and dash off? I did spy Glynn himself in there but thankfully it was Jo who tested the theory when Sonal and the pastry chef looked up and pointed at her! It was a shame Glynn didn't come out and say hello to his guests though. 
Sonal Clare (local boy done good from Ealing) the restaurant manager was exceptional. Attentive and friendly striking just the right balance. The sommelier didn't seem to work the living room just the main restaurant but Sonal asked us what we liked and came up with some new wines for us to try which were all perfect. All in all one of the nicest dining experiences we have had by far.
The next morning turned out not to be quite as leisurely as planned when pur train was cancelled and we had to find an alternative and longer route home. We had lunch planned at The Ivy cafe in Marylebone with a table booked for 2pm but we stepped off the train, into a black cab and arrived on the nose!
I am feeling a bit weary now liver is screaming GO BACK TO WORK AND EAT A F***ING SALAD WOMAN!!
I am getting to old for this.....oh no wait....I'm only 20!