The Hotel TerraVina Blog

“Albino” deer, black squirrels and snails… all in a day in the life of Hotel TerraVina and Co

I am writing this week’s blog in a different venue- not at TerraVina as I usually am, but instead at one of our “sister” restaurants, Paris House, in Woburn on the Duke of Bedford’s estate. For those of you wondering why we have a “sister” restaurant, it is because since the merger, over the summer, with the 10in8 Fine Dining Group, we have the added benefit of having a number of fantastic restaurants within the group, which I have to visit regularly in my new role as MD.

Thus whilst at Paris House, where I was treated to an impromptu lunch sitting at the magnificent Chef’s Table, in the heart of the kitchen, and a more glamorous perch you will be hard pushed to find, as it is bright red leather banquette seating shaped in the form of a sort of scallop shell….. I felt like a mermaid! Lunch was a delicious sweet corn chowder complete with plump mussels and razor clams and a very clever afternoon tea dessert which was truly scrumptious, very clever, quirky and fun… especially the bone china tea cups and tea pots.

However, I digress, whilst at Paris House, (before my lunch), I was gazing momentarily out of the windows across the acres of parkland and spied the deer which freely graze……there was a pure white one amongst the pack. Not sure if deer are called albino if they are all white or are they white hart? I have to confess to not knowing very much about deer except that they are very beautiful and graceful…. Then no sooner had I spied the deer when a black squirrel scampered across the drive and up a tree; who knew there were black squirrels but apparently the Duke’s land is a haven for them. Just to continue my animal theme, well the Duke does own Woburn Safari Park, so I suppose it’s relevant, the Aylesbury Escargot Farm, who supply snail meat and snails eggs to us tand who we have helped to promote in  recent weeks is going from strength to strength and was even featured on the BBC Oxfordshire broadcast this past week. Fortnum and Masons are now stocking both their snail meat and their Escargot pearls, both of which are delicious… I love it when a plan comes together…..well done Sophie, Mike, Abby and all their team

Which is why, (when a plan comes togther), I am equally delighted to tell you all that we have had Alan Murchison cooking with us all week, along with George Blanc, who is an exceptionally talented chef and who is truly lovely and one of Alan’s protégé ….. they were cooking alongside our own head chef, Neil Cooper  and team and have devised a new, vibrant and Californian influenced menu, filled with quirky touches, beautifully presented and very cleverly executed dishes and I love them all- (the dishes not the chefs!) thus this week it is fair to say  I have eaten very well and my waist line is suffering ….. oh the joy of stretchy trousers with elastic waists!

I can’t carry on writing now as I have another round of desserts to try, with the chocolate tart, with caramel sauce and goats milk ice cream being my current favourite.

Till next week


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