Being my first Full Michelin Starred Tasting Menu, and wanting the full experience we went 'all out' and selected the modern day 12 course tasting menu with premium accompanying wines at a total cost of around £200 per person- Significantly more than I normally spend.
I'm not a knowledgeable foodie, not into pretentious fluff and not a big fish eater. Having explained this to a member of staff he assured us the menu is about enjoyment and assisted us with the menu, recommended swapping out the crab and provided a tasty alternative, whilst leaving the meatier fish on the menu (including eels, which I never thought I would eat). Later in the night I even discovered my wine selection had been modified by the excellent Sommelier to suit.
At this point we entered the main restaurant. Pleasant room, but not as breathtaking as the service. The first course came, along with the wine (along with a detailed description by the Sommelier). All very tasty, but why the high cost? Then the second type of wine, an another course.. really enjoying this, more courses.. feeling the tastes and smells as described by the Sommelier and how it compliments each course. I’m a foodie!! Another wine, with salty tones as its produced on the coast in wooden casks(?).. mixing perfectly with the meaty eels I would never have dreamt about eating before. For those of you wondering whether 'carefully selected accompanying wines' makes a difference- one of our scrumptious first wines was left unfinished, forgotten about and lonely on the table, when noticed, near the end of the meal, we did the honorable thing and finished it off- it tasted terrible- wrong wine, with the wrong course- although, I’ve always appreciated a tasty bottle of wine --my eyes have been truly opened!
How many course through the twelve are we? Does this have to end?, we ask.
Unfortunately, we reached the bad bit, paid the bill and left satisfied that, although we wouldn't be going often, we would be again as Purnell’s' didn't provide a wonderful meal, they delivered a sensational experience worth paying the ( hefty) premium for, though not the 12.5 percent service charge- I would have rather left a deserved generous cash tip!
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