REVIEW | Fine Dining at The Cavendish Hotel – The Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire
Why I loved Dining at The Cavendish Hotel
Elegant dining with flavor combinations you will not have eaten elsewhere. Stunning attention to detail regarding how the food was flavoured and presented. The hotel has a head chef that clearly loves his job, making it a must-go location for anyone in Sheffield who enjoys fine dining.
Worth paying a babysitter?
Yes. Your attention needs to be on enjoying the food and not the sprogs, so get a babysitter booked well in advance.
What to expect at The Cavendish Hotel:
Posh country hotel, waiters wearing tweed and big smiles, food that will make you wiggle in your seat and that you will dream of for days (weeks, months..) and leave you wanting to go back straight away.
Value for money: (7 out of 10)
A three-course dinner will cost £55, so if you enjoy fine dining then I think you will be more than happy with the price.
Setting the scene
It’s not every day you get to eat in a restaurant where the head chef made it to the 2019 Roux Scholarship Final, so when I was invited to have lunch at The Cavendish Hotel, there was no way I would miss the opportunity.
Dad was my date for this lunchtime delight. He appreciates good food and wine, and it’s a long time since we have spent time one on one, so felt like the perfect plus one for the occasion.
Part of the Devonshire Hotels Group, The Cavendish Hotel sits alongside many other gorgeous hotels, including the Devonshire Arms at Beeley which I had the pleasure to stay in a few months ago. Located on the main street of the incredibly quaint village of Baslow, the Cavendish Hotel is hard to miss with its long stone exterior.
Browsing the AA two rosette menu designed by Adam Harper, it was clear that the food was going to be a cut well above what is served in a standard hotel restaurant. There were plenty of courses that intrigued me, ingredients I’d either never eaten or considered as a combination before, and a few things I needed to google to get a grasp of what was being offered (yuzu anyone?). But knowing the standard of the Head Chef, we knew we were in capable hands and that everything served would be stunning.
Whilst contemplating (and educating myself on) what to eat, we were presented with cauliflower and yeast cone aperitif. I’m not sure I would have ever picked a dish that had yeast as an ingredient, but the creamy centre and ridiculously light batter cones were really pleasant.
As we left the lounge and moved in into the Gallery Restaurant, we had a seat by a huge window looking out onto the beautiful Chatsworth Estate and a slightly more-than-one-mouthful amuse bouche was popped down on the table. A delicate dish of asparagus, cream cheese with incredibly thin and crunchy parma ham, dotted with capers and gherkins to give a nice natural touch of salt.
With only a minute to pause, warm treacle and stout bread rolls arrived. My dad weirdly doesn’t really like butter, but as the rolls were accompanied with chicken skin butter or henderson’s relish butter, he couldn’t resist trying.
There was no mistaking the hendo butter, and should the Cavendish start selling it, the great people of Sheffield would without a doubt buy it by the bucket load. But the chicken skin butter topped it for me, it felt very indulgent and I couldn’t stop lobbing a load more on bread roll each mouthful.
And this enjoyment was all before our starters!!
My chicken skin obsession continued, but this time it was crispy and salty and sat alongside some delicious Devon crab. And lots of it too. A combination I wouldn’t have thought of, but absolutely worked. Salty, soft, lovely. I raved about it for days.
My dad opted for the incredibly soft pork cheek sourced locally in Sheffield, accompanied by langoustine with a burnt apple puree. It looked and tasted amazing.
Adam popped out to say hello with a big smile and hand shake, and offered my dad the opportunity to try his latest halibut creation rather than the one off the menu. You could see genuine excitement and joy in his face about what he had just made, the passion that every good chef needs to have was clearly there. How could my dad turn that down?!
Halibut with jersey royals, strawberry golden beetroot and fennel tartare, vermouth chive split sauce and a fennel pollen. It was a beautiful looking dish and how it tasted did not disappoint. The strawberries were white, soft, subtle and delicate. The dish was light, refreshing but so satisfying. It felt like a real masterchef moment, where we were privilege to get the first taste of a new creation. Luckily for the Cavendish I didn’t try and impersonate Greg Wallace, but we were giving it some quiet oohs and ahhs in approval.
But then my main course. Truffle potato and egg yolk ravioli, accompanied with asparagus, wild mushroom and black truffle. Wow. The most incredible flavours. Rich yoke and truffle, deep sauce filled with an array of mushrooms, smooth potato filling with crunchy fresh asparagus. Everything worked together amazingly. My dad openly admits he would never select a veggie dish off a menu, and it surprised him how amazing the dish was. I would happily go back to The Cavendish just to eat this dish again.
I wasn’t convinced our main courses could be topped, but the desserts by far were the prettiest plates of food of the day. My dad’s mille-feuille filled with pistachio, white chocolate and raspberry was quite honestly too beautiful to break in to.
And my very dainty lemon meringue with yuzu (a type of citrus fruit I’ll have you know), blueberry and lemon thyme was the sharp and sweet finish I needed to a truly wonderful afternoon of glorious food with my Dad.
If you live in or around Sheffield, find a reason to have a treat and get yourself to the Cavendish Hotel in Baslow. The staff were very accommodating and Adam is an incredibly talented chef, and I’m already contemplating what excuse I can make to go back soon.
To find out more visit: https://www.cavendishbaslow.co.uk/
This is a Girl About review. I was invited by the management to dine at their restaurant free of charge in exchange for an honest and frank review. All my opinions are my own and in no way have they been swayed by their kind invite. Girl About reviews are always 100% honest. We only publish reviews that, for the most part, are positive.
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