It’s my birthday!! I have been desperate to take my children to my new favourite restaurant Stovell’s, Chobham.
Stovell’s is elegant but unfussy dining (perfect for my Charlotte), wines that have the Gods singing (one happy hubby) and their own Wildcrafted Gin (my James and our Matthew are both gin lovers). Happy family = happy mum.
Our evening started with balloons, pressies and cards at home and an excited ‘Cheers!’ with cold Prosecco and Prosecco cocktails.
Jumping out the taxi in the rain, we were greeted at the door with warm welcomes as we all piled in.
Stovell’s is homed in a fabulous wonky 17th century Tudor farmhouse.
Inside we entered the bar which is both cozy and stylish. Old beams overhead, a glowing fireplace and small tables lit by candles, you immediately settle into a restful state of mind.
We quickly picked our table. This one by the warm fire was perfect for us.
Settled in we all agree that we wanted to sample their home distilled gin.
I had only just been introduced to gin. We were all sharing our gin experiences.
It’s basically a white spirit flavoured with juniper berries. I cook with juniper berries, in a lamb stew (very nice), so this should be interesting.
My grown up babies. My heart melts…
The bar waiter patiently answered all our enthusiastic questions about gin, what makes theirs different and special, how they serve it.
They serve theirs with fresh and frozen blueberries. Sounds fantastic,
and looks amazing!
(Served with seaweed popcorn)
Naturally, we ‘papped’ these beauties for minutes before we supped.
James’s picture is the money shot!
And you can purchase a bottle, just follow the link (and get in plenty of blueberries).
Supping and catching up commenced as the fire crackled quietly beside us.
Meet Matthew, our ‘new addition’. He co-owns Steed the Saville Row Bespoke Tailors. We firmly deny that ‘mates rates’ top quality hand stitched suits and jackets have influenced us at all. He also happens to be a thoroughly nice bloke.
It was a happy night and we felt in a celebratory mood. The gin tasted incredible, very refreshing and so so tasty.
Set at our table ready for dinner, the giant menus are set out quite wonderfully as ‘Scallops’, ‘Duck’ etc.
I homed in on ‘Crustacean’ and ‘Beef’.
A little glass of Mexican soup arrived with a sombrero rim on top.
A basket of reeeally good warm bread, butter, smoked butter and dripping along with a giant rice cracker and more.
Hubby can never and has never passed up a good Iberica ham.
Matthews. He munched happily and cleared his plate.
James and I had this crab dish. It’s fresh, light and subtle. Very pretty!
Charlotte’s starter was extremely good. We have no trouble boasting about picking the best in this family. And she did, with a big chuffed grin.
Our evening was filled with laughter as it so often is when we all get together.
Andy and I largely sit back and enjoy the ride.
As the mains were being brought to the table we looked at all the glasses wondering how they will fit the food on.
The wine choices are very good here. The sommelier is there to help and he does so brilliantly. I definitely recommend you seek his help to get the best pairing with your food.
This is my Beef Wellington. The picture does not do this justice. It was pretty much perfect – that Oxtail jus wow! I loved every mouthful and wish I was eating it again tonight.
The truffle mash was very good, but I was so happy with the main event, all that soft beef and crispy pastry, that I didn’t really need it.
Every one else went for the Cote de Beouf. That’s hardly surprising when the menu talks of the ‘ancient language of fire’ and the ‘unique personality’ of the ‘compressed hard wood and apple wood coals’.
Sides included thick duck fat chips, root veg ‘cooked in the Earth they were grown in’ and this modest but oh so scrumptious pot of seasonal courgettes.
Quite a few snaps were taken of this hunk of meat. It’s testament to how delicious it was looking.
Also, there’s something that happens to a man when juicy, charred meat sits above glowing chunks of wood. It was like giving them their own personal bbq.
Oh, there’s another one.
Aaaand one more.
The chatter and laughter continued, this time muffled with cheeks full of juicy beef.
After a short break our desserts arrived. I almost always pick the chocolate choice, blaming my hormones. This was very nice but not my favourite…
Matthew’s cheesecake. Nice but not our favourite…
James’s coconut dessert was lovely, but wait and see…
The last 2 desserts has va va voom.
Charlotte’s Rhubarb and custard with it’s crisp lid you smash through was exciting. The balance between the sweet and sour perfect. And the creaminess of this deeply comforting dessert – heavenly.
This beauty was also exciting and a citrus taste sensation.
Just go steady tapping it with the spoon!
After a coffee and a nibble of the Petit Fours we were offered a chance to see behind the scenes.
We jumped at the chance.
The kitchen looked cheerful. More beef was being seared and tickets hung with promises of delightful dishes yet to be served.
The wine room had the men rubbing their hands together.
This is where the magic happens. Where a white spirit is transformed into gin with lots of juniper berries.
Other ingredients tease us with their secrets, such as ‘Meadowsweet’, ‘Liquorish and Alexander’ and ‘Oak Moss’.
Thanks to the staff at Stovell’s for a great birthday evening. It was a memorable one.
We felt welcome, we were very well fed (amazing wines) and even learnt a few things!
I recommend Stovell’s for a special occasion. Find a reason, go hungry, book a taxi and indulge your senses.
Thank you as always to my wonderful family for their contribution to this blog post. This is a family blog and I treasure your support xxx