Experience an evening of fine dining at The Clockhouse Café and Tearoom
Tucked away in the grounds of the British Horological Society in Upton near Southwell, the aptly-named Clockhouse Café and Tearoom is a real gem of a place. By day it is a laid-back café which has built its enviable reputation around serving mouth-watering patisserie and light meals made using seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients.
But each month The Clockhouse transforms into a fine dining restaurant where food lovers can indulge in a range of dishes created and cooked by owner and chef Edward Halls.
A couple of weeks ago, a friend and I were given the chance to experience one of the fine dining evenings. We walked into the softly-lit room and were immediately greeted by the animated chatter of the diners who were soaking up their surroundings and eagerly anticipating the four-course meal that lay ahead of them.
Perhaps some of the excitement can be attributed to chef Edward’s impressive credentials. He has previously worked in one and two star Michelin kitchens alongside the likes of Gordon Ramsey and Marcus Wareing. He has also run his own gastropub in the picturesque Constable country, cooked for royalty at Kensington Palace and won numerous high profile awards.
After taking our seats we were handed a glass of prosecco and some delicious canapés. In contrast to his days of working in busy kitchens, when he was surrounded by an army of staff, Edward prepares and cooks the dishes single-handedly. Nevertheless, he still found time to come out into the restaurant to chat to all the guests, both before and after the meal, which we thought was a lovely touch.
As the evening unfolded we enjoyed an array of impressive yet unpretentious dishes. There was a buttery-soft home-cured smoked salmon gravalax with quail’s eggs followed by two pork dishes. One was a roast pork fillet and the other was a Spanish-inspired stew, the centre-piece of which was an eight-hour braised cheek.
For dessert, I chose the glazed lemon tart, which was served with fresh raspberry sorbet and a piece of candied lemon. Here, Edward’s skills as a pastry chef really shone through – it was light, flaky and absolutely divine. My friend couldn’t resist the artisan cheese board, which was served with homemade chutney.
Perhaps what makes The Clockhouse such a special place to visit is the superb quality of the ingredients coupled with the fact that all of the dishes are served with both flair and precision. Not only that but the front-of-house staff were friendly and attentive, while the warm atmosphere made it the sort of place in which you could sit all night.
Fine dining evenings at The Clockhouse take place on the first Friday and Saturday of the month and the next one will be held on 4th and 5th June. For more information, including how to book and what will be served, visit the website.
Edward also offers a regular cookery demonstrations which give keen cooks the opportunity to learn everything from creating the perfect pastry to how to fillet a fish. Details are also available on the website.