I was incredibly excited about Sunday lunch with my hubby at The Chesil Rectory, Winchester.
The third most romantic restaurant in Britain (tick); 600 year old grade II listed Medieval house (wow – tick); Hampshire Food and drink award winner (tick).
We stopped in Winchester for Sunday lunch knowing we were driving past the ancient town. As The Chevril Rectory is situated just on the edge of Winchester, just a stroll from a car park, it was a hassle free stop.
The building itself has an incredible history.
As soon as you enter it’s ancient door it’s charm and character is extraordinary.
I climb the twisted wooden stair case to explore the private dining rooms that sit alongside a cozy little bar.
‘Please mind your head’ is painted all over above the ancient doorframes.
I think this room is gorgeous. I can’t think of a more perfect room for an intimate family Christmas dinner, a romantic Wedding Anniversary do or New Years lunch.
The vintage chandelier is hung with festive foliage and gives drama to the room.
It’s not surprising that they get booked up early over Christmas, Mother’s Day and Valentines Day. The atmosphere is simply wonderful.
Back down stairs and sat at our table the more sophisticated festive songs play subtly.
Hubby and I got a surge of Christmas spirit. You know every year you wonder when it’ll kick in, well it did. We sat at our little table with soppy grins positively glowing with festive cheer.
We placed our order and settled back as the restaurant slowly filled up with couples and family groups.
Soaking up the historic atmosphere and a glass of cold Prosecco.
A fantastic little basket of sourdough bread arrived, with butter, oil and some Moroccan spices. One very happy hubby.
Soup of the day – a very yummy white bean with a truffle cappuccino. Hubby came over all Marcus Wareing ala Masterchef and can confirm that the cappuccino foam did definitely add something to the dish.
My palte looked rather simple. But actually didn’t need any bells and whistles. It was light and flavoursome. The Red wine and Port shallots went perfectly with this silky chicken liver parfait.
Next came our Roast Topside of Beef & all the trimmings.
It’s one of those moments you grin at each other with wide ‘don’t get in my way’ eyes.
‘Yes, please. Thanks’ to a dollop of horseradish cream and we dived in.
Hidden beneath is all those delicious trimmings.
Those creamy cauliflower florets…
After an exceptional roast we were getting full, but couldn’t resist sampling dessert.
Dark chocolate and mint marquise with Crème Vanille. Andy loved this, eating slowly and considered (that’s how I know. Then things waste good, you either gobble or savour).
My Vanilla Rice Pudding with Cranberry and orange jam. Creamy, sweet heaven that had me scraping the bowl round the spoon.
The restaurant sell these little pots of pear chutney. We bought a couple, you know, for the christmas cheese, ham and the like. OK, one pot might be opened for supper…
We had a wonderfully romantic feast at The Rectory, Winchester – get your better half or a bunch of loved ones and book up soon – book ahead though, it’s very popular (for good reason).
The Chesil Rectory Restaurant
1 Chesil Street,
Hampshire SO23 0HU
Telephone: 01962 851 555
Car parking available in long stay multi-story car park, a three minute walk away.