Friday, 26 February 2016

Supper with Valentine Warner

We were delighted to find an excuse to go back to The Wheatsheaf, our personal favourite of all The Lucky Onion properties. We have blogged about this little Northleach gem before (see here) and have visited for birthdays, engagements and Sunday lunches where you can request a whole chicken sent to your table to devour.  But this time it was for something really special, a supper cooked and hosted by Mr Valentine Warner himself.

This is the second time Valentine has been involved in the now infamous Lucky Onion exclusive suppers, the first time round cooking supper for guests at the beautiful No. 38 The Park.

The evening was a great mix of informal and formal and there were a lovely mix of guests from larger groups to couples, friends and lucky onion group members.

We kicked the night of with Tanquery number 10 gin and tonics in the back bar where we could see Valentine and the team hard at work, prepping for our supper. It was a bonus to see him working whilst happily chatting with guests on the other side, glass of wine in hand. We were seated in the private dining room, a beautiful almost gothic dining room with an abundance of Cotswold charm, on long tables which created a spontaneous dinner party vibe. We loved that we chatted the night away with total strangers, hugging and kissing as friends by the time we departed.

The seasonally focussed menu was right up our street. A generous serving of raw scallops in a curried vinegaret and cucumbers as our canapé which we devoured in minutes. A Skagen, a luxuriously creamy Swedish dish based on dill, crème fraiche, prawns and row. It was deliciously rich, served on a crisp bread and topped with crispy shallots.

The main event was duck confit on lentils with sweet pomme puree, served with Valentine's favourite cider and bowls plentiful with extras being passed up and down the tables much to everybody's delight... yes that's right, we were not only having supper cooked by Valentine Warner but there were SECONDS too! 

For dessert, platters of apple fritters cooked in cider batter were handed around with help yourself bowls of whipped cream and bitter chestnut honey. This was unlike anything we had ever tasted so we took it upon ourselves to ask Valentine about it. He said he taste of the honey is all about the flower in which the bee decides to feast on and in this case the flowers from the chestnut tree created a sharp bitter taste to the honey. For us on its own it was too bitter but we totally got it when it was served with the apple fritters and whipped cream, sensational!

We finished the night off by heading to the back bar again where we had the pleasure to have a quick chat with Valentine and get him to sign our friends book, big fan girl. He addressed it to her and drew an impromptu sketch! We hadn't realised he sketched all the artwork in his books himself. Multi talented!

Thank you to The Lucky Onion for organising this fab event.. Do make your way to their website as these exclusive events are becoming a staple in The Lucky Onion Calendar and if you sign up to be part of The Lucky Onion Club you get discounted tickets too. Next up is dinner with Mark Hix at the races.

Millie and Meg x

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