The Dormy House Hotel

On the 30th October Rich and I reached five years of marriage and to celebrate we headed to the AA's Hotel of the Year 2014/2015, Dormy House Hotel for a slap up meal.

Situated in the heart of the Cotswold countryside just outside the picturesque village of Broadway, the Dormy House is as charming and indulgent as the website promises it will be. Inside the feel is welcoming and warm with inviting lounges either side of the entrance, both perfectly equipped with enticing sofas and board games.

Needless to say we opted for a drink in the lounge before making our way round to the Garden Room. The Dormy offers two eateries: the restaurant, The Garden Room and The Potting Shed which provides an informal, relaxed, pub-like eating experience.

The Garden Room is a conservatory style room, beautifully laid out where diners can enjoy the hum of others around them but aren’t overwhelmed with someone sitting right on top of you.

So onto the food… to start with Rich ordered the Dormy Cured Venison Pastrami while I opted for the Smoked Duck Breast.

The venison was accompanied by local apple, horseradish and pickle and I have to say (I snuck in a taste or two), it was perfection. The venison was the sweetest, most succulent melt-in-the-mouth venison either of us had ever tried. The apple and horseradish partnered it perfectly, cutting through some of the sweetness one refreshing bite after the other. For a dish using such autumnal ingredients it wouldn’t have looked out of place on a summer’s day. Fabulous.

My smoked duck breast came with roasted peach, hazelnuts and watercress. Another tasty plate of food that got the taste buds singing. I especially enjoyed the roasted peach together with the duck, not a combination I had tried before.

Upon recommendation from the Dormy folk on Twitter, I went for the pheasant for main course which consisted of a roast breast of pheasant, confit leg, chestnut gnocchi and a rose hip crisp.

The chestnut gnocchi was a real surprise, delicate in its texture and flavour but incredibly moreish. But the real star of the plate was the rose hip crisp. The stickiness of the crisp provided a pleasing sweetness that worked seamlessly alongside the delicate pheasant breast.

Rich’s lamb main course was made up of three lamb elements; chop, kebab and kidney accompanied by smoked aubergine and broad beans – Rich had an issue with broad beans being on the menu given the ‘seasonal produce’ promise at the beginning of the menu, but that’s by-the-by. This dish had a lot to live up to after such a killer dish beforehand. It was a pleasant combination with the Morrocan-flavoured chop being the main stand-out component and the kindey was also well cooked. The kebab didn’t really have a place on the dish as all the other elements were a couple of levels above. If you are going to put a kebab on the plate in this kind of eaterie, it should be a taste sensation.

The other recommendation from the tweeps at Dormy house was the Apple Crumble Soufflé – a mysterious concept which intrigued us. I’m pleased to say it worked, in fact it nailed it. The crumble element was used to coat the sides of the bowl. The soufflé was pillow like and the apple was a welcome treat hiding at the bottom.

I selected cheese for my afters, with a choice of eight British cheeses with five to go on the plate this was an excellent cheese board selection. We really enjoyed the Lord of London a soft cows’ cheese and the Windsor Blue was also an excellent creamy blue cheese. There was also no scrimping on the crackers, homemade and the right ratio for the amount of cheese on the plate; a big thumbs up in my book.

The Dormy House Hotel is a delightful establishment offering fabulous food, great service in a contemporary country setting. Next time we go back it will be during the day so we can see the Dormy House in its element, the Cotswold countryside.

5 November 2014