Eat the best grouse in the country at these top restaurants
Rules (above), 35 Maiden Lane, Covent Garden
Tel: 020 7836 5314
London’s oldest restaurant has celebrated the eagerly anticipated ‘glorious twelfth’ with the addition of three grouse dishes to its menu. We recommend the Whole Roast Young Grouse served with Crushed Celeriac, Roast Fig, Horn of Plenty Mushrooms and Brioche Crumbs.
Rules has, through World Wars and sixty Prime Ministers, firmly established itself as one of the city’s best restaurants and a bastion of tradition and impeccable service. An ideal choice for those seeking, as the restaurant promises, ‘the best in life, as we are confronted with so much mediocrity.’
Roast, The Floral Hall, Stoney Street, London
Tel: 0845 034 7300
According to Roast’s head chef Marcus Verbene there is nothing like the ‘distinctive smell of the first grouse being pulled from the oven’ to remind you that ‘summer is coming to an end and autumn, with its bounty of interesting ingredients, is just around the corner.’
Those ‘interesting ingredients’ are easy to hand, the restaurant overlooks Borough Market, large windows framing the chaos below, and many of the British farmers and producers championed by Mr Verbene and his team, are also stallholders. Unsurprisingly, their grouse is no exception; sourced from the Swinton Estate and served with rowanberry jelly.
Wilks, 1 Chandos Road, Redland, Bristol
Tel: 0117 9737 999
For those looking beyond the confines of London, there are plenty of options to be found. One of our favourites is Wilks who offer creative versions of much loved classics. The grouse comes from Johnson and Swarbrick in Yorkshire, they also supply the restaurants duck and guinea fowl, and is served with girolles, red Russian kale, fresh black currants and a grouse jus flavoured with crème de cassis.
Head chef James Willkins suggests choosing an accompanying wine that will linger on your palete, the same way that grouse lingers in the mouth. ‘Delicate wines but wines with character’ such as Margaux 2008 Chateau des Grâviers.
Those eager for seconds can enjoy a seven course wild game tasting menu on the 1st and 2nd October.
The Wild Rabbit, Church Street Kingham Oxfordshire
Tel: 01608 658 389
The Wild Rabbit is the latest offering from Queen of all things Organic, Lady Carole Bamford and joins an empire that includes Daylesford Organics and the Bamford Haybarn
As with everything Lady Bamford turns her attention to the restaurant, pub and twelve bedrooms are a polished version of the surrounding Costwold’s rustic charm. Enjoy your English grouse, served on the restaurant’s monogrammed plates, with game chips, pomme cocotte, jus, sauce chapeau, bread sauce and bacon.
After gorging yourself on a platter of Daylesford cheese (straight from the Bamford’s own farm, naturally) fall into bed beneath exposed wooden beams, swathed in Egyptian cotton.
The Yorke Arms, Ramsgill-in-Nidderdale, Pateley Bridge near Harrogate, North Yorkshire
Tel: 01423 755243
The Yorke Arms offers Michelin stared food and rooms without any of the pretension and is led by France Atkins, considered to be one of the country’s best female chefs.
Locally sourced grouse comes with bread sauce, bramble and a heather scented jus. The dining room is a comforting mix of dark wooden furniture and crisp linen tablecloths. Should you decide to stay the rooms feature giant four posted beds that you may have to be prised out of. It is worth going outside however just to enjoy the spectacular surrounding countryside and extensive vegetable garden where your supper undoubtedly originated from.
The Great House, Market Place, Lavenham, Suffolk
Tel: 01787 247 431
The Great House is used to praise. Regularly touted as one of Britain’s top restaurants it was also voted one of the best romantic British hotels by The Times. And it isn’t hard to see why. This boutique five star hotel, run by Regis and Martine Crepy, is situated in the medieval town of Lavenham with parts of the building dating back to the 14th and 15th century.
Despite the quintessentially British setting the food has a distinctive French feel to it. Their warming pot roast grouse is accompanied, for an extra kick, with black grouse whisky. Perfect for those coming chilly autumn evenings.
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