An Amazing Lunch at Eckington Manor
When you first drive into Eckington Manor, you are greeted by a statue of the Greek God Pan. He is almost foretelling you about the experience you are about to have. Pan is the god of the wild. Of fields, groves and wooded glens. He fits perfectly into the beautiful surroundings of Eckington Manor, nestled in the Avon valley, between Pershore and Bredon. He is obviously having a great time, dancing whilst an abundance of produce falls from his cornucopia.
The buildings, mostly converted farm buildings and surroundings were stunning. However, they were equalled by the interiors. I loved the way that the rooms retained original features, and yet had been perfectly matched with stylish, quality furnishings. A lot of thought had obviously been put into the renovation and room decoration.
I think my favourite room in the hotel was the one where civil ceremonies are held. This bright and airy room has amazing views into the stunning surroundings.
Eckington Manor is situated on its own working farm. Unsurprisingly, the locally produced food is at the heart of the Eckington Manor restaurant. The restaurant was opened in 2013, and is run by joint Head Chefs and husband and wife team, Sue and Mark Stinchcombe. You may recognise the name “Mark Stinchcombe” as he was the winner of MasterChef: The Professionals in 2015. I can’t tell you how excited I was by the prospect of having lunch cooked for me by such an esteemed chef!
We started the meal with freshly baked breads and butter. The meat-eaters in the party enjoyed some roast chicken butter, which did look divine and I was assured it tasted just as good.
I spent some time trying to decide between Pollock, seaweed, potatoes, leek, mussel sauce, and Cheddar lasagne, roasted cauliflower, cumin, capers, I opted for the Pollock. It was absolutely beautiful to look at and tasted divine. I was torn between wanting to just look at it, to devour it and to slowly savour it, making it last as long as possible.
I spent less time contemplating what to eat for dessert. My eyes seem to naturally fall on anything containing chocolate on a menu. I had to have the dark chocolate, peanut butter ganache, salted milk ice cream. Again, another exquisite dish was placed in front of me. And again it tasted sublime. Mark explained that the main component takes about 24 hours to make. Beneath the shiny, dark chocolate coating were four layers, each perfectly complimenting the others.
At this point I was fully satiated, although I did manage to find room to finish off the meal with coffee and a petit four. I cannot put into words just how amazing the meal was. I love the fact that the menus are seasonal with locally grown produce from the Eckington Manor farm and the surrounding area. More than this though, I love the thought, and the time and the effort that must go in to producing each dish. It made me feel so special to think of the work that had gone into my meal.
I feel incredibly lucky to have such an outstanding restaurant only about 30 minutes away from me. Eckington Manor is one of the best places that I have had the privilege to eat at. If you are serious about good food, this place is an absolute must to visit. I will be returning. As many times as I can!
Disclaimer: I was invited to try lunch at Eckington Manor, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. The food and service was outstanding and cannot recommend it enough!