Tuesday, 16 February 2016
The Cellarz, Spring Grove
We don't normally go out on Valentines night as it is our anniversary on 23rd so we normally go out for that instead. It seems madness when I look at local restaurants they are charging an extra £20 just for one night and the menu is the same, it's the principal! However when we went to Safari Park for the awards ceremony we saw The Cellarz advertised and thought it looked an amazing venue which only opens for private events and special nights, one of which was Valentines. So we booked it.
Dinner was from 7pm and by the time we booked the earliest sitting was 7.45pm. The menu is specially designed for Valentines with sharing platters and was £45 per person including a welcome glass of sparking wine:
Mezze: Share Platter of Continental Meats, Fish and Vegetarian items.
Soup: Tomato & Roasted Red Pepper with Pesto
Mains: Sirloin Steak with Hand-cut Chips, Flat Mushroom, Vine Tomatoes & Onion Rings
Open Celeriac and Tomato Lasagne served with a Kale and Truffle Dressing
Smoked Haddock with a Lemon and Pea Risotto
Dessert: Pudding Platter to share.
Freshly Brewed Coffee and Tea with Home-made Sweetmeats
Arrival was very civilised as they really do stagger the sittings in order to make sure everyone doesn't turn up at the same time. We were asked whether we would like to sit in the bar or go straight to the table so we choose to sit in the bar for 10 minutes and soak up the sound of Huw – a London based guitarist & singer who was excellent.
We were shown to our table and handed the menu so we could choose our main, I chose the lasagne (I find sirloin a bit fatty) and Mark chose the steak. Our starter arrived presented on slate which consisted of some meats, olive tapenade, prawns, melon and strawberry, fish paste and crostini. It was really tasty, even Mark who doesn't like olive liked the tapenade.
Starter followed and to be honest we weren't overly impressed, the bread didn't seem warm and fresh - it was cold and quite dry. The soup was lovely with the pesto but once you got under the drizzle of pesto, it wasn't very tasty at all and quite bland, for homemade tomato soup I expected something really tasty.
Mains, well what can I say, the steak was just steak piled high with chips and onion rings, it wasn't anything special - for a venue like this I expected more, it was just a steak you could order in your local pub. My lasagne wasn't very warm at all and I did mention it to the waitress who said she would feedback to the chef. It was just a bit disappointing though, literally a piece of lasagne, a bit of lambs lettuce and two pieces of crispy kale on top - it needed more accompaniments.
We were looking forward to dessert but again we were disappointed - the chocolate brownie was lovely however the other two 'things' were awful, the tart was completely tasteless and the other thing just tasted like overly sweet synthetic cream coated in coconut. You could see other couples weren't impressed by the taste either.
Cheeseboard again wasn't brilliant, onion marmalade, small piece of brie, small piece of blue cheese and a large piece of cheddar accompanied by shop bought crackers and rather over ripe grapes.
Coffee arrived with a couple of shop bought mints and a small éclair and small cheesecake bite which had a lot of gelatine in it!
Service - well this started of really good. However it fell apart at the mains - we weren't offered any sauces (another table had been taken a platter of sauces, we weren't) not did anyone come to check to see if our meals were okay mid way through. The other thing that disappointed me was our platters weren't explained to us - when you are presented with a platter of food when you don't know what it consists of, it is common sense that the waiter should explain what each piece of food it. That way we may have known what the desserts should have been.
Drinks - on the website it mentions cocktails so I was looking forward to a nice cocktail however they only offer three and they are all just three different flavoured vodkas.
This could be a fantastic night out for Valentines, the venue is AMAZING, truly is stunning. However the food is a massive disappointment, paying £45 and expecting a civilised night out we expected some really nice tasty food. It isn't somewhere we will be going again nor is it somewhere we would recommend which is such a shame as it really could be something special.