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Review: Sunday Lunch at Chiseldon House
There’s not much we enjoy more than a proper Sunday Lunch. We headed to the stunning Chiseldon House to see how their offering stood up against the rest of the competition.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been to review something at Chiseldon House, I recently went and reviewed their Afternoon Tea, which I was very impressed by. This gave me pretty high standards coming in to judge their Sunday Lunch, a difficult position to be in!
Luckily, the weather outside was a drizzly, grey sort of January afternoon, which lends itself perfectly to filling your belly full of hearty, warming roasted meat and veg. As we pulled up to the venue’s sweeping drive, I found myself saying aloud to my wife, “I don’t think I’ll ever tire of looking at this place.” The house itself is stunning. The fact that it is home to a fantastic restaurant is a real bonus.
We stepped through the double doors and were greeted by the familiar member of staff manning reception. The little touches like showing us through to the dining room and offering to take our coats really make a difference, making us both feel like we were in for a real treat. Our table wasn’t quite ready however, so we were shown to a small lounge area and were invited to peruse the menu.
A refreshing change from the ‘every man for himself’ feeling you get at some carveries, the table service and set menu meant you could truly relax and consider your choice of dish. There was plenty to choose from so we decided to spring for the full three-courses as we were shown to our table.
I opted for the Game Fritters with Onion Marmalade Jus. Not having had game fritters before, I didn’t really know what to expect. I fear I may be over-simplifying what was a delicious starter by likening it to a breadcrumb-covered meatball, but I can only describe it as such because I’ve nothing else to compare it to! The meat itself was tender and delicious, the breadcrumb coating was crispy and added a satisfying texture to the filling, and the jus had a perfect punchy-sharpness which was very moreish (So much so, I used the warm roll I was served to mop up the rest of it – perhaps a little uncivilized)
My dining partner chose the Goats Cheese and Watermelon Salad with Roasted Pine Nuts and Herb Oil. Although this was a perfectly adequate starter, with the freshness of the watermelon cleansing the palate ahead of the main course, my wife couldn’t help being a little jealous of my dish.
The starters came and went, now it was time for the main event. We ordered a glass of house red and house white wine to accompany our meals. Not knowing a great deal about wine, all I can say is they were perfectly acceptable and a welcome change to a pair of diners who rarely drink wine with their meals – but when in Rome.
I decided to go for the Duo of Pork, Roasted Loin and Sausage with Apple Sauce and Gravy. My dish arrived with an immaculately presented piece of meat among some gravy, three generously-sized roasted potatoes and a small ramekin of apple sauce. The meat was cooked to perfection, with a healthy helping of crackling, which were complimented by the sweet apple sauce. The spuds were crispy round the edges and fluffy on the inside with a nice pinch of salt and pepper for seasoning. My wife and I split the roasted veg which was served on a side plate.
The beef also arrived, for my wife. She remarked that even though you don’t order your beef cooked to your specification, it came out exactly how she’d have asked for it anyway! Again, the meat and potatoes were to a high standard with nothing to detract from what was an excellent main course.
We decided that we could probably stretch to a pudding, as well. After looking at the menu, I ordered the Rice Pudding and Strawberry Jam (a childhood favourite) and my wife ordered the Traditional Eton Mess. Now it was my turn to get jealous. We both love Eton Mess, but as she ‘said it first’ I decided to go for the rice pudding, and although it brought back all the fond memories of eating it growing up, I would have still liked to try a bit of the crunchy, chewy meringue!
All in all, Chiseldon House certainly delivered the Sunday Lunch we expected; a relaxed, calming atmosphere, with fantastic food and impeccable service. If you fancy a short drive out of Swindon (just a 10 minute drive from Old Town) then I’d definitely highly recommend it.