Yalbury Cottage (YC) has been on our “must visit” list of restaurants for a long time now and the generous gift of a YC voucher from our friends, gave us the opportunity to visit.
YC is in Lower Bockhampton, glorious Hardy countryside, within easy reach of the Jurassic Coast and is very close to the birth place of Thomas Hardy and after his death, the graveyard where his heart was laid to rest.
For the last 10 years YC has been owned and run by Jamie & Ariane Jones, along with a small team of dedicated staff. The hotel has eight bedrooms, all with an en-suite bathroom with bath and over shower.
The restaurant is open to non-residents for dinner Tuesday to Saturday inclusive and Sunday lunch. YC Sunday Lunches are extremely popular and it pays to book well in advance.
Todays weather was dank & cold, perfect weather for a long over indulgent lunch. Once inside we were soon warmed with the wonderful welcome from Ariane and shown into the lounge. YC is an old converted shepherds cottage, with low ceilings and plenty of oak beams ready to waken you up should you loose concentration as you move around. It has a rustic welcoming farmhouse feel with lots of very comfortable settees & chairs. YC is not a place to be rushed, it is a place to relax, forget about the outside world and just immerse yourself into the food.
I sank into a large chair and perused the menu whilst enjoying three canapés and a glass of Palmers IPA. They do have an extensive selection of local ales, wines, cocktails, champagne and Dorset fizz. Some can be bought as a half bottle and some by the glass.
For starters there was carrot & coriander soup; Portland Crab with squid ink bun; double baked cheese soufflé; Chicken Liver Parfait and a crispy soft poached duck egg. Mains, roast prime aged Angus sirloin beef from Dorchester, Yorkshire pudding, seasonal local vegetables & pan jus; fillet of gurnard; duck breast in a cherry sauce and a vegetarian English Tapa collection.
For starters I enjoyed the wonderful sweet Portland crab with the amazing looking & delicious squid ink bun. The pickle vegetables and beetroot puree smoothed out the richness of the crab. Vicky had a warming bowl of carrot & coriander soup, with some rather fine mini bread rolls.
For mains I went for fish, a fillet of gurnard with a good crispy skin, potato rosti, smooth white bean puree and crispy kale. Vicky had tender duck breast with succulent rich duck leg confit, three of the best roast potatoes you will have the pleasure of eating. The jus was smooth and bursting with cherries. This also came with a vegetables and a serving of creamy cauliflower cheese.
We were now almost full, but there was the small matter of desserts to contend with. Vicky had an apple fritter, very light doughnut batter, with crisp apple inside, topped with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. I had the smooth sweet & creamy blackberry parfait and some new season punchy rhubarb.
We retired to the lounge for a cup of fresh black coffee – wow what a very enjoyable meal, stunning food and friendly service. We totally recommend you give YC a go, you won’t regret it..
|Invited by PR company?||No|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||No|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||Yes|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||No|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|