January, aka Veganuary, has become a month full of vegan events and product launches. Restaurant after restaurant add vegan options to their menus, or even go as far as launching a dedicated vegan menu. This means that we get to prolong our Christmas food coma. Yay!
On Friday I was lucky enough to be invited to try the vegan menu pulled together especially for Veganuary at the King and Lamb restaurant at Stoke Place in Stoke Green, Buckinghamshire. I waited with anticipation to find out what they were going to serve and I have to say that they did not disappoint.
About Stoke Place
Stoke Place is a country house surrounded by 26 acres of stunning parkland in Buckinghamshire. Primarily a hotel, it looks like a lovely place for business trips or even a romantic weekend break.
When you arrive you’re suddenly faced with this large red brick estate which looks incredibly impressive. You can imagine that this used to be a stately home for some of the aristocracy in the past. It’s very pretty.
What we ate at Stoke Place
As I mentioned, I was lucky enough to be invited to try the vegan menu created for “Veganuary” at the King and Lamb restaurant at Stoke Place. As it is relatively close to where I live I was surprised that I had never heard of it before before, but clearly many people had, as within 15 minutes of taking this photo the restaurant very quickly started to fill up.
The interior decor of the restaurant was eclectic with velvet seats, dark wooden tables, blue and white pottery and fringed lanterns. It was fairly modern with a nod to the old. We felt very sophisticated sitting there as we waited for our food. However I know what you’re wondering – what did we eat?
For each course there were three delicious options. I found it difficult to choose but luckily the boyfriend selected something different to me each time so I got to try some of his dish too.
To start with I chose the carrot and cumin puree with chargrilled pointed cabbage and lemon emulsion. It looked slightly odd on the plate but it was very tasty. The cabbage had been lightly grilled which meant that it was soft where it needed to be but also had a lovely crunch to it. The carrot and cumin puree that accompanied it was very sweet and gave the dish that extra oomph.
The boyfriend chose the carrot, ginger and coconut soup with a dash of coriander. The soup was thick and creamy with a spicy kick to it. I tried some myself and was surprised by how fragrant the dish was. The boyfriend even went as far as saying that it was the best soup that he has tried. I would quite like the recipe so that I can make it at home myself.
For main I had chestnut and sage crushed butternut with butternut fondant, crispy kale, oyster mushrooms, roasted pine kernels and butternut puree. The presentation was fantastic. In the middle was the cooked butternut squash supported by a bed of chestnuts. I’d forgotten how tasty chestnuts are; they give a nice texture to a dish along with some sweetness. Decorating the edge of the plate were oyster mushrooms and crispy kale. There were so many pleasant flavours. I adored this meal.
The boyfriend had mushroom gnocchi with roasted chestnuts, parsnip and shaved truffle accompanied with parsnip crisps and tarragon. Again it was displayed in a tower in the centre of the plate with parsnips around the edge. The truffle came through subtly and the mushrooms weren’t overpowering. It was delicious – or the bit that I tried was anyway.
For dessert I had a chocolate brownie with raspberry sorbet and berry compote. I would never have thought to have berry compote with a chocolate brownie but it went together well. The brownie also had nuts running through it – yum – any dessert with nuts included I love. The portion was the perfect size and a great way to finish a wonderful meal.
The boyfriend had poached pears with pear sorbet. The portion was small but the fruit cleansed the palette nicely at the end of a fabulous meal. The sorbet was also very, very refreshing indeed.
Stoke Place is a little out the way but it’s well worth a visit. In minutes you’re out of the city and into the countryside. You immediately feel more relaxed, the air is fresher and you’re surrounded by beautiful greenery and a stunning country house.
I will be returning to Stoke Place for food again. It would be great for a birthday party or celebration of some kind. In fact, if they did a murder mystery evening then that would be amazing.
I’m so pleased to see that Stoke Place is supporting the vegan community and showing people how tasty and diverse vegan food can be. I was thoroughly impressed with their dishes and my boyfriend and I had a spectacular evening. Shout out to our waiter Ozzy who looked after us. The service was exceptional.
If you’re looking for somewhere special then I’d recommend going a little further afield and visiting Stoke Place. Their Veganuary menu will remain throughout January. You can find out more about it here.
If you’re looking for any tips for Veganuary then check out my blog post on 7 tips for doing Veganuary.