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The Old Vicarage, Ridgeway (near Sheffield)


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I'm on a roll at the minute, having tried Anthony's this week, with the Merchant House due (again) on Saturday and a trip to L'Enclume in the next fortnight (it's only 1 1/2 hours drive door-to-door - hurray for the M6).

Steady there Thom - you'll be turning into gary marshall soon with that level of consumption :biggrin:

Glad to hear you are back at The Merchant House tomorrow - please let us know how you get on.

Johhny- Thanks for the info- will be sure to give you a try when we are next over in Sheffield.

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  • 7 years later...

We have not been recently, but visited a number of years ago and were disappointed.

It held a Michelin star then, and Tessa Bramley was (as now) in charge of the kitchen.

We have not, and would not return, but you never know we could have caught it on a bad day.

If your interested, AA Gill (The Times) seemed to enjoy it fairly recently.

Having said that I do not trust his judgement and cannot post a link to his review because of The Times paywall.

I would be interested in reading a recent review myself. Just to see if things have moved on.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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According to the latest Hardens report you would be well advised to keep away 4.5.5 is nearly as bad as it gets and overpriced.

On the other hand, the current GFG has it at a score of 7 and it sits at 32 in its Top 50 list.

John Hartley

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I would go by and drive to Fischers at Baslow, if thats the sort of meal you fancy. You will have a far better experience at around the same price. Been twice to Ridgeway and both times, very disappointing. Didn't enjoy Bramley trying to constantly up sale very expensive wine, over whatever else you chose, amongst other things.

As for it having a star, top fifty etc, well god only knows. These never ending 'lists' are imo political nonsense anyway.

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I was at Fischers this time last week. Standouts were a tortellini of Vacherin served with a chicken jus and Derbyshire pork with peanut brittle and dehydrated crackling. We enjoyed the tasting menu at £50 and a little too much wine over four plus hours. Service was spot on. Will review soon. It's been a while!

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Thanks. I'm staying in the centre of Sheffield so I guess that Baslow is that bit to far by cab in an evening.

I've heard very mixed comments although can't find anyone that has been there recently.

Don't mean to spend you cash for you Andrew, but I would be interested to read a report myself on here.

Why don't you give it a try and let us know what you think? I certainly can't think of anywhere else in the immediate vicinity that you could try.

"So many places, so little time"

http://londoncalling...blogspot.co.uk/

@d_goodfellow1

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Get a life Bapi these people that claim they are'rearing their own pigs or whatever are deceiving customers it would require a herd of several hundred pigs to kill one every couple of weeks and then they would have numerous complaints about the smell.I know been their done it.

Sid the Pig

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Get a life Bapi these people that claim they are'rearing their own pigs or whatever are deceiving customers it would require a herd of several hundred pigs to kill one every couple of weeks and then they would have numerous complaints about the smell.I know been their done it.

How utterly marvellous for you. Perhaps if I had bothered to rear a couple of my own, then I too could deign to be quite so patronising as you.

To quote their website " All our meat is from local farms and is free range, including our own Milestone exclusive rare breed pigs, born and raised in Sheffield".

So it would appear I made an erroneous assumption after watching that Ramsay programme of old. The Milestone actually ask others to rear the pigs for them to use. One can only hope that the quote isn't an egregious lie and that the chaps at The Milestone don't actually pop down to Morrisons before service. I am less of a cynic and so would tend to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Suitably chastened, I shall depart to "get a life". Perhaps a Monastic vow of silence with a little, light self flagellation thrown in. Who knows?

Incidentally, Sidney-should you need any help in understanding when to use "there" and "their" in a sentence, my seven year old is currently learning this at school and would be delighted to help.

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I seem to be on a right value for money kick at the moment as have just sounded off about how reasonable Pollen St is. However, I must add, I too had that Fischers Taste of Britain menu last autumn and it has to be one of the most competitively priced degustation menus in the country; certainly that I've experienced in my gluttonous adventures to date. £50 is an absolute steal for what you get (am off their next week for lunch as it goes, booked before this thread re-reared its head).

Would love to try the Vicarage. Interestingly, AA Gill gave it five stars not long toward the end of last year.

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Bapi your seven year old has advantages over me, at that age I was evacuated and was more concerned with not being beaten up by the local yobs when I left the village hall with 60 other evacuees, just one woman trying to educate all under ten year olds.

Like Shakespeare I have not concerned myself too much with spelling thinking there are much more important things in life.

I do resent the restaurants these days that are conning the public saying that we use our own produce meaning we have two chickens in a coop to service a 50 cover business.

Sid the Pig

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If you're in Sheffield, try Moran's on the south side. It's rather lovely. The GFG gives it a 5 I believe. That's if you live in Sheff. If you're just visiting, they're closed for their hols.

Silversmiths (which was on Ramsay's restaurant rescue) is also a very nice bistro.

didn't like Milestone much, but then that whole Ramsay Favourites thing was generally a bit rubbish.

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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I went to the Milestone about a year ago as part of a group of 10 and had a very good meal. It was ideal in terms of type of food and atmopshere. They dealt with a group really well and the food was of a good standard without being exceptional.

The (business) trip to Sheffield has been put back by a couple of weeks and I've decided to give the Old Vicarage a go. The Milestone isn't the sort of place (on this occassion( I'm looking for. The Old V has recieved such mixed reviews that I'm facinated as to what it is really like!

Andrew

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll be interested to hear your views Andrew. I love the Old Vicarage, it's a place that holds a few great memories for me. It was my first fine dining experience, it's where my (then future) wife and I would go for a treat, where we celebrated getting engaged, and where we got married. Every course of every meal there has been delightful.

Tessa Bramley does it seem have a habit of rubbing a number of people up the wrong way (though she was charming to me and my wife) but she runs a very tight ship and our wedding day there was perfect, and that's in no small part to her, so I'm in her debt for that.

On the subject of Sheffield...

Milestone - I love it these day, they've really got their act together. My wife and I went a number of times when it first opened and we really wanted it to succeed, but decided to stop going as every single meal there had been marred by poor service. What was noticeable though was they always dealt with their mistakes professionally, and over time learnt from them. We were eventually tempted back, and have had some lovely meals since. The Ramsay exposure increased the numbers which is well deserved and improved the atmosphere too. They've taken over the Wig & Pen in town, hopefully they're not stretching themselves too thin.

I've had a good meal at Silversmiths (as named by Ramsay on Kitchen Nightmares!) but know a few people that have suffered really poor service there (and in fact before I met her, my wife had had such a shabby experience in the pre-Kitchen Nightmares days she'd vowed never to return). I think it's a case of a good chef, but a front of house chap that struggles a bit.

Artisan up in Crosspool is worth a try too. I've had some really nice meals there (though to he honest some mediocre ones too). It can be very good value.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, I ‘took one for the team’ and went there. It is quite strange as it regularly gets panned on blogs but gets good marks in the GFG (7/10) and has had one Michelin star for 14 years, so you sort of feel it must be doing something right.

It is a 15 min (£10) cab ride from the centre of Sheffield. It’s not the easiest place to find but the building is a fairly grand old house. As you walk in you’re taken through to a sitting room. It is at this point you realise why it is not everyone’s cup of tea. It looks like a faded country house hotel / B&B.

Quite a few reviews had complained about the attitude of the owner Tessa Bramley and in particular her so called up selling. Well on arrival I was asked whether I wanted a drink (not the usual what type of champagne would you like you get in many establishments). I, slightly meanly, asked for a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. It is always a good test as to whether their fresh OJ is out of a carton or actually squeezed freshly. Well it was perfect. This was accompanied by a large piece of black slate full of nibbles. Some olives, homemade cheese straws, a warm and pungent cheese puff, salmon roulade, Thai fish ball and a south American style beef pasty. All were tasty but the mix was somewhat random and will power was needed not to eat the lot! A minor complaint given you had to use your fingers no napkin was provided.

No tasting menu was on offer but a 4 course offering (£65) which included a choice of either dessert or cheese. On looking at the wine list I realised there were no ½ bottles or wines by the glass. No problem said Tess, tell me the sort of thing you like and I’ll open something. I said I would like a glass of a full bodied white to start and then go onto a red, not to many tannins but with a bit of depth. Two excellent suggestions were made a 2007 Rully Premier Cru and a 2001 Dashe from California (a Cab Sav). Ok I thought this is the up sell and will cost me a fair amount. The white was listed at £40+ a bottle on the wine list and the red £60.

Off to the dining room (less tired than the sitting room) but still a little country hotel for my liking. A huge choice of bread including black pudding, wholemeal, walnut or the one I opted for cheddar and spring onion. It was excellent. One of the best rolls I’ve had anywhere, warm, fresh and flavoursome without being over powering.

The wine was served. The full bottle appeared and a glass poured. It was left on the table, presumably in case I wanted more than the one glass. It was a good full bodied white burgundy.

The first course (described on the menu as a light appetiser) arrived. It was the size of a typical tasting menu portion. It was lemon sole, smoked eel tortellini on a pumpkin veloute. The fish was perfectly cooked, the veluotte sweet and rich although the tortellini was slightly disappointing. Over all good but nothing spectacular.

The ordered meal the started. The starter I ordered was scallop, john dory, sprouting broccoli with pak choi with ginger and chilli on a rhubarb, star anise and butter sauce. It was excellent and the sauce, in particular, made the dish.

The white bottle was replaced by a decanter full of the bottle of red. It was excellent.

The main course I chose was beef on cabbage & bacon with confit of chicken wings & black pudding, parsnip puree, baby beetroot and deep fried shallot rings. The beef was as tender as I have ever eaten, unfortunately what is had in tenderness it lost in flavour. It was melt in the mouth without any real beefy flavour. The black pudding over powered the chicken confit and the baby beets were to vinegary. The dish was ok but it didn’t quite work for me.

I couldn’t decide between the cheese selection ot dessert. So I asked for a ½ portion of cheese (washed down by a second glass of the excellent red – a good reason to leave the decanter on the table).

An excellent platter of 7 cheeses arrived. All perfect. Ok I thought so much for the ½ portion I asked for, this is clearly a full portion and I’ll be charged for it. More up selling?

Then the dessert. I opted for the baked chocolate pudding. This came beautifully presented, with a light sponge, rich chocolate sauce and creamy custard. Heaven on a plate.

A list of coffees appeared although I opted for fresh mint tea. Given they charge £3.50 for coffee I thought it was a little mean to charge an extra £2 for chocolate thins or £3.50 for petit fours. Very few places that charge that amount for a coffee charge extra for the chocolates.

I asked for the bill and was ready to gulp over the cost of the wine. How wrong cold I be, There was no up sell, the wine was charged at £8.00 for the white and £9.50 for the red. Excellent value for both. I had only been charged for one glass of red. When I pointed this out, Tess just shrugged and said I’m glad you enjoyed the recommendations. I was also charged for the ½ portion of cheese (£4.50) I ordered rather than the full portion I received.

The total meal came to £93.50 and was excellent value, given the wine, quantity and quality of the food.

I can see why some don’t like it. The owner is very full on and always checking how things are and chatting to guests. Not to everyone's taste but I found it refreshing - someone who cares. The rest of the service is ok, the waiting staff are all very young and just serve without any real under standing or knowledge when asked. The food is worth a star without being spectacular. The crucial question is would I go back? If I was in the area yes, but I wouldn’t make a long journey to visit. If you're in the area do go.

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Brilliant post Andrew. I can now understand why Hardens gave such a poor rating. When the cats away the mice will play. Remedy sack the lot and get a good manager to cover when the boss is absent.

Sid the Pig

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