Ahead of their summer menu launch on 8th June, the team at The Kedleston Country House held a tasting night to showcase their new dishes.
We headed over there on 7th June to see what was on offer…
After a couple of hit & miss visits to The Kedleston, we had everything crossed that things had improved…
The setting is absolutely stunning – in the middle of the countryside just a stones throw from Kedleston Hall
Although the evening had turned a bit grey, the view is still lovely and we were able to sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine
Clearly a lot of money has been spent on this venue, the attention to detail with the interiors really is fantastic, and the feel of the place truly is lovely. The building is a maze of different rooms, some for lounging and some for dining – each one with a really expensive, but not stuffy feel
We went through to the bright and airy Orangery and took a seat. The tasting was a ticketed event so numbers were known before the evening, which is why it was disappointing that by the time we joined the queue to taste the samples, most of the food had gone!
When we did manage to get a sample of what was left, we though it quite unusual that most of the tasters were served in small – what appeared to be shop bought – pastry cases, when not a single one of the dishes displayed included pastry. This really did detract from the flavour of the contents (which could also have been seasoned more) and seemed unneccesary, when serving small spoons or glasses of each dish would have been much more representative.
We also found that if we hadn’t accidentally tried some of the ‘display’ dishes that were there to showcase what the full size dishes looked like, we wouldn’t have been able to sample much at all.
The staff that were in attendance in the orangery didn’t seem to offer any explanation of what the samples were and appeared to just have been left with no instruction – something that had become evident on previous visits.
We had planned to stay and have a couple more drinks and order some dishes for our dinner, however after what we had sampled we decided it was best to go elsewhere and we drove to a local pub instead – something which at least 4 other couples that we saw at the tasting had decided to do as well. Unfortunately this tasting evening did not make you want to try more.
I must point out though that they do have a fantastic selection of drinks – from draught & bottled beers, wines & lovely cocktails, to their own house gin. Also the bar staff are very helpful & efficient. We will 100% return for drinks in the garden but I feel disappointed to say that sadly I don’t think we’ll be returning for the food. It could be a really fantastic place but just falls flat on that (rather important) point.