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Mrs Woman

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Posts posted by Mrs Woman

  1. Had the 12-course menu at L'Enclume last night, absolutely superb! Only one 'meh' dish, the rest delicious. Stands outs were Wervereux peas and crab sacks, some duck scratchings, and salt and vinegar 'crispy rice' with cod yolk and cream of egg and bacon, and a dish of hogget with cider sauce was a revelation.

    Compared to Sat Bains a couple of months ago we far enjoyed our meal at L'enclume more. No disservice to Sat as our meal was good there but last night at L'Enclume just hit more spots with us! Will write up a review of both SB and last night when I get chance.

  2. Martin Caines? Is he Michael's brother? ;) Will be trying Abode in couple of weeks for birthday hopefully.

    Oddfellows definitely worth a try but ask to sit in the more intimate-seeming main restaurant 'upstairs' (on same level as bar, sounds odd but trust me on this) rather than the fishbowl like 'Pantry', which is at ground level and looks out on the street. There ARE some issues with waiting staff (some useless, some good though) but food has generally been quite good on a upper mid-range level (it't not fine dining by any stretch of the imagination).

  3. We were at Plas Bodegroes a couple of weeks ago for two night - funnily enough the same week that Aled Williams was on GBM and deservedly (IMO) won the Welsh heat. I have to say we were pretty impressed with both the hotel and the restaurant - we had a fbulous couple of days. Their house-blend tea is great and the breakfasts are lovely.

    Stand out dishes from our two meals were a starter very much like offcentre's one below, except the black pudding scotch egg and lentils had a good wodge of exquisitely cooked crispy topped belly pork. I also had a delicious starter of sweet, sweet scallops with mini cauliflower pannacottas.

    I don't normally choose chicken but a main of crispy skinned breast with legmeat 'sausage' (mmm, buttery and so tasty) with butternut squash tortellini and a sage sauce made me glad I did.

    The canapes and desserts were good but nothing exceptional, expect for a bara brith and butter pudding with Welsh whisky ice cream and little blobs of mango sauce (sounds odd but worked quite well)

    The staff were so unfailingly helpful, relaxed (in a good way!) and friendly that it was a joy to stay and eat there. I couldn't do any damage to the wine list and we had to forgo a special Chateau Musar night there as I'm not drinking due to upduffedness (although I did unintentionally eat the chocolate mousse on one of the desserts - oops!). Mr Woman loved it all so much he was making plans to come back at some point this year!

  4. Tried out the Cloud Bar myself on night of afore-mentioned birthday, but I quite liked it, although it did help that we'd booked ahead, went straight to the front of the queue and had a table waiting for us. Both cocktails I tried were pretty decent but I'm not sure the bar has enough atmosphere for a full evening.

    Anhoo, we went to Harvey Nics in the end and had the tasting menu. pretty darn good I thought but then I don't get out much these days. Also had some surprisingly decent grub at Walrus (using a voucher off Manchester Confidential, 2 courses and beer/glass of wine for a tenner). Will write up all when I get chance.

    Thom, it really is a wonder that you're not the size of a house after that little lot!

  5. Thanks Bertie, your "it's loud, we're busy, so if you don't like, you can go elsewhere' attitude is refreshing in its honesty :) I never expected the Modern to be fine dining or be as quiet as a church but I didn't expect such short shrift on the timings, that was all. I really don't like having a time stamped on me before I even sit down, you're always conscious of it while eating. I'm sure I can't be the only person who doesn't like this?

    Never mind, I'll try somewhere else. Long may you stay busy Bertie! :biggrin:

  6. Nope, struggling with that [edit to make self clear--'struggling with that being a problem] if it's a weekend night....have to say The Modern isn't the epitome of 'relaxing'.

    Hi Bertie, are you trying to say that we should be happy with this hour and 45 minute slot then? Would it be the same at Harvey Nics or elsewhere on a Friday? I'm not necessarily looking for somewhere quiet when I meant 'relaxing' - I just didn't expect such table turning at The Modern.

    Hey ho better try somewhere else then.

  7. Thanks everyone. Right, it's probably between The Modern (congrats Bertie!) and Harvey Nics at the moment then.

    A colleague of Mr Woman is trying to get us to go to Obsidian - I get the impression this place is all fur coat and no knickers? Is this right?

    Whatever happened to Lounge Ten as somewhere special to go?

  8. ok so I am heading to Manchester again in a couple of weeks for my birthday. have two nights at the radisson, one night will be the Oasis gig at Heaton Park and the next night will be my slap up birthday meal. Mr W is trying to steer me towards Yang Sing or Gaucho, Chinese and steak being his favourites, but hell it's MY birthday *stamps feet*. Where's good to celebrate/commiserate turning 33? On the list are The Modern, Abode (although the a la carte looks strangely uninspiring - has anyone been for anything other than the lunch deal), Harvey Nics restaurant and the Market for retro appeal (anyone been of late)

    Any to add to the list? I've been to the River Room and wasn't overly impressed. Not fussed on curry or Thai. Will consider anywhere else as long as it's in the city centre, the food is darn tasty, the decor isn't too shabby and I can be made a fuss of for one night of the year before I'm dragged back to drudgery!


  9. David, I used to be a big fan of B&P mini-chain but I have seen quality slip in the past couple of years. Only two weeks ago we visited the Alford place and had three very overcooked ducks and a bone dry piece of pork. A visit to the Pant Yr Ochain last year has similar results with tough, chewy, overcooked steaks. Not happy, not at the prices they charge. Harkers is ok, far too busy for anything other than bar food though. The chain sold out to a huge pub co last year so it looks like the rot may be setting in unfortunately.

    Now if you want simply cooked but great tasting food at a pub near Chester, head to Stuarts Table at the Farmer's Arms in Huxley for one of the best Sunday dinners around! Stuart himself is a bit eccentric but the guy in the kitchen knows what he's doing.

  10. Just to be clear, three distinct and separate restaurants in Chester feature the word Grill in their name.

    Actually, there's four. The abysmal What's Cooking recently changed its name to Watergate Grill. It's on the same street (Watergate) as UATG so may be hoping to garner some of its customers. Don't be fooled though, the Watergate Grill is all fajitas and chicken wing nonsense.

    I've hear mixed reports about both Blackhouse and Grille (at the Blossoms Hotel) but I've never heard anthing bad about UATG. The upstairs bar has a roulette table on one bar, which may be good fun for your refined stag do. I've only had Sunday dinner in the restaurant downstairs but the roast beef was superb (as it should be in a steak house!). Perhaps give UATG a call? They may let you eat upstairs if they want to keep the restaurant 'intimate' (although I doubt they would).

    Not a steak or curry house but 1539 on the racecourse is supposed to be excellent (and has lots of 'man food' :biggrin: ) http://www.restaurant1539.co.uk/index.php

    *waves at Ian*

  11. 'New' Juniper closes (as does Brasserie Blanc but does anyone actually go there? Well I suppose not now!)


    As reported here three weeks ago!

    Not like you to be off the pace Mrs Woman, what's happened since your heyday on the Restaurant magazine newsdesk?!

    oops, I knew I should have searched first. Sorry, no longer a newshound, I juz chick peeples speelings.

  12. Hi Bapi, no worries. I think we might have gone to Velvet at some point in the evening. We certainly went to Walrus, where we had some decent cocktails.

    Food-wise we tried to get in Harvey Nics but they were fully booked. TNQ was also doing the £25 three courses and ulimited wine offer so we went there. Very nice it was too. Two of us had a very nice chicken liver and shiraz parfait with brioche (but why do you never have enough bread for these things?) and grape chutney, and one had mussels. All three of us had chicken with kidderton ash goats cheese wrapped in Cheshire bacon with pepperonata. All very tasty. I did have cheesecake for dessert which was rather too sweet and I think I must have had five glasses of unlimited wine by then so I can't quite remember how nice it may have been.

    In short, I would go back. No fireworks but tasty and competent grub.

  13. Haha sorry Thom, I'm aging you before your eyes! I didn't realise you were a mere three years older than me. It must definitely be because of your youthful entrpreneurialism :biggrin: Say hi to Andy for me.

    I meant mid-range food options rather than drinks to be honest. I have a feeling the Modern or HN may be to too expensive for one of our trio.

  14. Bertie, I know you weren't being sexist. I knew what you were getting at :wink: We may pop in early (7ish) for first civilized drinks.

    Any other suggestions on good mid-range places? I've yet to put The Modern or Harvey Nics to the other two but I'd like to have some others as back up. What's the Northern Quarter B&R like?

    And Thom, yes I'm early 30s now so that means you must be.... late 30s?! Time does fly. I'm still in touch (via Facebook) with Paul, Luqman (moved to New Zealand!), Gillian and Caroline, ooh and Jane the receptionist. It's five years since then, can you believe it? Anyhoo cheers for the recs. I don't mind places like Socio (last time I was in, we were stood next to Kasabian at the bar - we'd just seen them get out a cab and followed them in, mind!), but yes it is 'low fi' as you say. Room is a very good call for drinks. I've been to the Leeds one a few times and enjoyed myself. We have a Room in Chester now too but it looks far too dark and dingy for my liking (see Bertie, your theory is true!). Ah, the Abergeldie, I used to pass that on my way to work everyday at the CIS. May have to try it :) Either that or head to Chinatown for pork buns!

  15. Are you suggesting the fairer sex is vainer, Bertie? :biggrin: Thanks guys, I'll look into all those options. I did think of Harvey Nics for cocktails but didn't realise the Modern also did them.

    Harters, cheers for the Thai rec. We're not on any kind of stupid health-kick new year diet, so we don't necessarily want 'light' as in healthy, just don't want to be overly stuffed. However, this might not stop us having three courses! It does sound lovely though.

    SaladFingers, is Antonios the one that looks a bit like a diner? I used to walk down Piccadilly to work and always fancied popping in (never had time, always late!).

  16. I'm off out into Manchester this Friday night and have no idea where to go. Living in Chester, I've not been out in Manc at night for well over a year so don't know what's going on in terms of decent new places to eat and drink. I'm going out with two girly mates, we're in our early to mid 30s. We intend to start civilised (cocktails, good meal) and get less so as the night goes on :biggrin:

    I know most Manc posters are blokes but you must surely know some lady-friendly places? I don't really like the sound of Panacea, it sounds a bit WAG territory. We're not orange and we're not after Ronaldo (horrid greasy little man). We all like a good feed but not really after anything too heavy like a curry or Chinese. At the other end of the scale, we're not looking for anything too 'fine' or stuffy/pretentious.

    Thom, Bapi et al - I eagerly await your suggestions. I'm sure you're all in touch with your feminine sides :wink: (and Thom, please don't suggest RBG!)

  17. Chester-wise, the Arkle has been renamed Simon Radley after its long-standing chef. Brasserie 10-16 is no more (which I'm not too bothered about, very average IMO) and is being turned into a Shere Khan (I won't be visiting). Better food can be found at Upstairs at the Grill. Good-ish simple stuff at Moules a Go Go and Chez Jules.

    Conwy, try the Conwy Bistro. In Deganway, you must try Paysanne for great French 'country' grub, much better than the fur coat and no knickers of the Quay hotel opposite.

    In Mold, there is 56 High Street, specliaising in seafood.

    The Blu Bell in Halkyn only does a (limited) food menu on weekends (including buffalo stew, there's the North Wales buffalo farm in the village) but is a cracking CAMRA pub with lots of real ales and ciders.

    The White Horse in Hendrerwydd http://www.white-horse-inn.co.uk/ is pretty good too, if you can find it!

  18. Hi all

    Can anyone recommend a good unstuffy place wit great food for my parents to stay over Christmas? It’s my turn with the in-laws this year so my folks are planning to have a cosy getaway somewhere. They’re looking for somewhere within a couple of hours drive from Notts, so Derbyshire, Lakes, Yorkshire, Shropshire, etc., is fine.

    They’d initially thought of Linthwaite House in the Lakes but discounted it after I told them it would (a) probably be extortionate over Christmas and (b) we found that although it prides itself as ‘unstuffy’, there’s still a lot of people who put the full works on for dinner (I don’t mind putting on a little glitz but there was a guy in a full tux the weekend we were there!), and that it was still quite formal in places.

    So, ideally, it would be a great welcoming, down-to-earth inn or hotel that does fab food that is open over Christmas. Any ideas?!

    I’ve only managed to think of the Star at Harome and the Yorke Arms up to yet.

  19. A fellow Linthwaite House fan here. My review here:http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=40254&hl=linthwaite

    Glad to hear the food is still great. We haven't really been able to afford to go back to stay (the deals are always mid-week) but lunch next time we're up that way sounds like a good plan.

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