For Dean’s birthday this year I took him for a meal at The Butcher’s Arms in Eldersfield near Gloucester. When we first arrived there we were greeted by a very lovely lady who seated us to our table. There she gave us a small but very impressive menu.
The place felt very homely with a log burner that was lovely and warm – just what you’d want on a cold winters evening. Along with that the building had low ceilings wooden floors and had a great feel to it. Dean loved all of the vintage travel posters and pictures which were all around us.
One of the main reasons why I booked The Butcher’s Arms was because of its Michelin star. With anticipation we studied the menu, however it didn’t take us long to choose what we were going to have.
We were sat chatting about our day and Dean quietly said “Do you think we will get bread?”. Moments later it arrived, still warm with the butter melting straight away. The bread was delicious and very crusty, Dean said it reminded him of a focaccia and I think this was because of the Rosemary on it.
Seared Squid with Russet Apple Chutney and Steamed Pork Dumpling
This dish was a great sized portion for a starter. There was plenty of tender squid, which I loved. All of the flavours worked really well together and there was a tiny bit of spice, making the dish slightly oriental. The pork was very chunky inside the dumpling and very tender and together with the bun gave it a delicious texture, which also worked superbly with the apple chutney.
Pan Fried Fillet of Cod with Crispy Brittany Prawns, Fowey Mussel Sauce and Pea Purée
This dish was a very ‘me’ dish. I love my fish and seafood, especially when we go out for meals. I couldn’t fault the dish at all it was simply stunning – delicate, light, fresh and loads of flavour. Normally you would have some sort of potato with your main dish but this dish really didn’t need it. It was truly delicious and I throughly enjoyed it.
Pistachio and Blood Orange Macarons with Pistachio Ice Cream and Blood Orange Sorbet
Dessert time had arrived and we were given the menu back. They all sounded amazing and very seasonal. I love macarons and I just couldn’t resist having them. When it arrived my initial thoughts were that it was such a colourful pudding, one that you could have all year round. The ice cream was very creamy and I could of eaten lots more of it. The macarons themselves were amazing – just the right mix of chewy and crumbly along with the fantastic flavours of pistachio and orange. Overall it was a great dessert to end the night on – it was light and refreshing on the pallet. I’m very pleased I had it.
Crispy Middle White Pigs Cheek with Fried Hens Egg and Hedgehog Mushrooms
This was a very ‘me’ dish. I love rich flavours and tender cuts of meat like cheek. Added to that the fact I got to try a type of mushroom I’d never even heard of before and I was in heaven! The dish was extremely tasty and didn’t last long. Even though I had a pretty respectable portion it was the sort of starter that leaves you wanting more. The only criticism I had was that visually the fried hens egg reminded me of the sort you get in a McMuffin, but thankfully not it taste or texture! Overall a great beginning to the meal.
Fillet of Hereford Beef with Crispy Ox Cheek, Fondant Potato and Braised Red Cabbage
It was turning into a rather cheeky night for me. I normally wouldn’t have two courses with similar ingredients (or cuts of meat) but in this case I chose it because as a dish it read really well. You can’t beat a nice bit of beef and I love fondant potato so they swayed me away from my go-to choice of lamb. The good news is that it did not disappoint. The beef was well cooked, tender and juicy, the ox cheek full of flavour and a rich meaty jus tied it all together. A fantastic dish, highly recommended!
Seville Orange Marmalade Pudding with Drambuie Custard
Out of everything on the dessert menu this caught my eye, mainly because I’d never heard of a marmalade pudding before! I asked the waitress to describe it and it sounded exactly as I’d imagined – a rich sponge pudding (similar to a sticky toffee pud) with marmalade inside it. Yes please! It turned out to be one of the best puddings I’d had this year, the sponge was moist and carried the tang from oranges while the Drambuie custard added a sweet creamy flavour in the background. Superb.
Overall we had a very enjoyable evening at The Butchers Arms and I would definitely return and highly recommend. Having a Michelin star showed through on the food with it’s presentation and attention to detail. It was a very friendly and affordable place and I would love to go back.