Our Michelin starred birthday lunch

Now I know this blog is aimed at the more frugal food lover so I sense the title of this post must come as a shock.
Do not fear, you can have nice food in nice places for less than a fortune. No re- mortgage needed!
The trick really is to have a look at the restaurant you want to go to and see if they do a set lunch. Not all restaurants do but the majority will.
For his birthday my husband wanted to go to The Hand and Flowers in Marlow.
This Pub/Restaurant has recently gained its second Michelin Star due to the efforts of chef Tom Kerridge.
Upon arrival we were warmly greeted by the front of house staff and shown to our table. The restaurant is really lovely inside. Not showy at all. Real chunky wood tables and chairs and not hundreds of tables rammed into a tiny room either.
The hubby and I knew already that we were having the set menu – we are very tight!!!
This menu regularly changes but when we were there it was as follows:

Appetizer – Crunchy fried Whitebait with dip.

This is a really lovely touch, you can feel like the poor relative when having the set menu so this made us feel a bit less so. Lovely crunchy salty whitebait served in a little cone. This is given to each table and there is no charge for it. Perfect.

Starter – Tomato & Basil Soup with a goats cheese choux.

Now in my life I have never been one to get excited by soup. Tomato soup is my favourite soup but soup is soup and there isn’t really much I can say – it was a nice soup. The goats cheese choux though was delicious with a capital D! Tangy sharp soft goats cheese in a perfectly crisp and fluffy choux bun (profiterole size). This went amazingly with the sweet/sharp soup.

Main – Rolled breast of lamb served with cauliflower puree and pickled cabbage hearts.

I have many food related pet hates and here I experienced one of them. A main course that isn’t a full main course without you paying for a side order! Grrr!
So the piece of lamb was delicious crispy and meaty and fatty all in the right proportions, it was a slice from a rolled breast and sensational. The cauliflower puree yummy too – I love cauly anyway and the pickled cabbage heart was the most amazing revelation of the whole meal. I am a pickle fiend – a gerkin will never escape my clutches! The gentle picklyness cut the fat of the lamb breast to perfection. For our starch fix side order we chose the signature salt crust baked potatoes with malt butter. They were to die for. Presented in a salt crust bag tied with rope (pre-cut for convenience of serving), the salt from the crust had permeated into the red skin spuds and the salty malty butter married perfectly with that.

Dessert – Lemon and Ginger mousse/fool with sesame tuille.

This was a perfect end to the meal. Light and fluffy and tart. Presented in a bowl that resembled a just opened egg shell the pudding looked like a generous dippy egg and soldiers. The mousse was so light and creamy with a sharp ginger sorbet at the bottom to contrast with it perfectly and the tuille gave the crunchy texture you needed.

Price all told including tip and half a pint of local ale for hubby and Lime and soda for me was just about £60, you could easily double that for the a la carte menu.


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