Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Micheline star dining

After watching too much Masterchef Claire and I went to a Micheline star restaurant to find out if it is as good as they say !.

We went to the L’ortolan (http://www.lortolan.com/)

“Welcome to L'ortolan, Reading's only Michelin starred restaurant, with modern French cuisine by Executive Chef Alan Murchison. Nestled in the village of Shinfield, just five minutes from M4 Junction 11, L’ortolan offers an exceptional dining experience - perfect for social and business occasions.”

The venue is nice, and as expected our car was the worst / dirtiest in the car park… but having said that they were “normal” cars… no Bentleys or Jags… just nice top end Toyotas and BMWs.

On entering the staff were very friendly and the other customers were just “normal” folk, no big spending loud toffs (!).

Before sitting down to eat we had a drink and had some complementary Olives, spiced nuts and bread sticks for dunking in a Rabbits Liver Pate and Fragua mix.  (I quite liked the Pate and Fragua !).

Our menu and my finest Greg Wallace marking is as follows !

HEN'S EGG –Slow cooked hen’s egg, salad of peas, broad beans & truffle, parma ham, brioche

My score – 10/10, best dish of the evening…. so moreish with great strong flavours !

SALMON - Confit salmon, olive oil jelly, pink grapefruit & liquorice

My Score – 9/10, the Salmon just melted in my mouth … but why the inclusion of grapefruit I will never know, too strong and out of place on the dish.

DUCK - Breast of Goosnargh duck, pastilla of duck leg, turnip,pears & pear purée

My Score – 7/10, the meat was fantastic, could have done with more sauce, the side vegetables were a bit weird… one dish where putting everything on the fork together made the taste much better.

GOAT'S CHEESE - Capra Nouveau mousse, mustard seed & honey lavash,sherry vinegar jelly

My score – 8/10, I really liked this !… strong as anything …

KALAMANSI - Kalamansi curd, mascarpone ice cream, peanut & vanilla macaroons

My score – 8/10, nice desert… needed more ice cream !

It has to be said Claire and I had a great evening, I was worried I would feel out of place but that was not the case at all… I would really recommend you go and try it out… especially if they have a special taster offer on the go !

(The only problem is Claire wants to eat like this all the time now !)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Bracknell verses Reading

Been doing more motor way journeys to Cheltenham and Bristol the last few months.

I grab a rental car via work so Claire can use the Vectra for the school run etc… I don't get a say in what turns up for me to use.

However, I have discovered a pattern… cars either come from Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Bracknell or Reading.

If the car comes from Bracknell it is always special, different, interesting…they have given me some nice cars.

If the car comes from Reading it is always a crappy Hyundai i20… I don't even need to read the paper work… I just know it is from them, stock “compact” piece of junk.

But that all changed recently…. the last car from Reading was a top notch Ford Focus with all the bells and whistles.

So how do Bracknell respond?!… only with a gorgeous Vauxhall Insignia CD, 6 speed, estate !… lol, definitely not a “compact” car… cant wait to blast this down the M4 tomorrow !   (And it has cruise control … bliss !).


Monday, 5 March 2012

Jade and Tizzy

The following is an update from Claire about Jade & Tizzy after competing at Wellington this weekend:

Very proud of Jade Ross, 6mths ago we were at our wits ends with a pony who we really didn't know how to sort out. But thanks to Jade Thomas and some real dedication from Jade Ross she is now on top form :-) Double clears at all of our last 3 shows :-)

Jade and Tizzy at Wellington

And Jade can also jump Claire’s horse Cracker !


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