I don’t know quite where to start when it comes to describing the wonder and joy that is The Ethicurean restaurant at the Barley Wood Walled Gardens in Wrington, near Bristol. With a menu that not only promises to tantalise the tastebuds but also be an education as you try to work out exactly what every exciting element on the plate actually is, it’s impossible to leave any other way but on a natural high.
Following a perusal of the resident artists’ studios and a walk around the walled gardens, where many of the ingredients for the dishes I was about to be served are grown, I sat down to sample the flavours of goat bacon, ground elder and anise sherbet. Each plate was presented with such care and skill that it almost pained me to have to dig in…almost.
Culinary masters Matthew and Iain Pennington have really excelled here, with each course packed with an intensity and freshness that can only come from respecting the seasonality of their produce and having the courage to push the palate with unusual cooking methods and combinations.
With other delights such as lovage crackling and black garlic stuffed greens still waiting for me to try, there’s no doubt that this is one place I’ll be returning to as summer turns to autumn and so on. theethicurean.com