The Lighthouse, Boylestone, Nr Ashbourne

In a very unassuming location in the middle of the countryside near Ashbourne in Derbyshire, nestled behind an old country pub, is a little restaurant called The Lighthouse.

As seems to be the case quite often these days with higher-end restaurants, they specialise in tasting menus which are changed on a seasonal basis, and they also offer special occasion tasting menus such as for Valentines Day.

On this, our first visit, the menu was as follows…

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Smoked haddock scotch egg

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Cranberry, sage & turkey loaf with crispy turkey skin salted butter. Oh. My. Goodness. that butter! It’s hard to describe how a butter can pack such a salty, turkey skin amazingness punch but it definitely did!

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Now the next course on the menu was a mussel dish but as it is the one thing in the world that I am allergic too, I thought I best avoid it! The staff were fantastic and as soon as I mentioned that I had the allergy they swapped the dish for an alternative – brown bread soup. Sounds pretty basic but it was completely delicious! It was creamy without being heavy, perfectly seasoned and was topped with really light, crispy croutons.

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Following the soup was a dish containing three of my favourite things – Cornish scallop, truffle risotto, beef cheek & onion oil – rich and delicious!

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After that came orange pork jowel, fruit ‘n’ nut & damson – this also came with a home made sausage roll

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Sixth on the list was Derbyshire beef fillet, marmite pomme & roasted roots

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Following the beef was the most controversial dish within the group – spiced mince pie, mulled port glaze & Hartington blue cheese butter. I ended up eating a couple of these (oops!) as two didn’t like it at all. The blue cheese was perhaps a little strong, and unusual with something you associate as being sweet.

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The first of the sweet dishes was winter apple crumble, honeyed oats, roasted braeburn apple, earl grey & vanilla

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The second sweet was the very clever ‘Snowman’. Made up of lemon mousse, white chocolate & mandarin

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And finally coffee & petit fours.

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The staff there are the perfect mix of everything you want – polite, discreet but always there if you have a question. Cutlery is replaced between each course without you even noticing, and drinks are kept topped up. The only minor comment I would make is that I would have expected table cloths and the lack of them made the restaurant feel a bit casual, even though the food and ambiance is not.

The whole evening was superb and we are lucky to have such a high quality restaurant so close by. I would also add that £50 per person is very reasonable for the menu and service you receive. We have since recommended a few other people to visit and each one has enjoyed it as much as we did!

I look forward to visiting again soon to try the next seasons offerings!

Book via their website here – you won’t regret it!

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