Review: The Mountsorrel .. in... Mountsorrel

The Mountsorrel guesthouse in .. you guessed it.. Mountsorrel has always looked nice from the outside. Having lived in the village for the past 2 and 1/2 year, the place catches your eye especially in the summer when the front is alive with hundreds of hanging baskets full of colourful flowers. 

Recently they opened their restaurant to the public (previously it was only available for residents) and with head chef Nicola Albiniano in the kitchen, they should do very well. I've eaten Nicola's food at local places The Swan Inn and Pilings Lock and I knew the standard would be high. So last Tuesday with Mummy Bites in tow, I headed over there for dinner.

The Mountsorrel Guest house
We were warmly welcomed by owner Mick and enjoyed a drink in the lounge before moving to the restaurant which has recently been refurbished and has a fresh, modern feel. The building itself - the original village vicarage dating back to the 1800's - is just beautiful  - and the restaurant features all the original fireplaces and wooden window shutters.

Dining room at The Mountsorrel
Dining room at The Mountsorrel

Bear in mind that you are going to a guest house and so, you will enter into the B&B hall and start in the lounge. Don't let this put you off. The staff are very friendly and will offer you a warm welcome. The menu is short but well formed with a range of gastro pub style dishes such as belly pork, risotto, rack of lamb and fish of the day. The specials really caught our attention though and both mum and I went for something on there.

To start, we had an amouse bouche of spiced pumpkin soup and homemade sourdough bread. Seasonal and just delicious. I then had mussels cooked in organic cider and tarragon cream sauce. They were incredibly juicy and fresh and I don't have a bad word to say about them! Mum had the grilled asparagus spears with a poached egg and Parmesan shavings. The asparagus wasn't the prettiest dish on the plate but it was cooked perfectly and Mum enjoyed it.

pumpkin amouse bouche at The Mountsorrel
Mussels special at The Mountsorrel
Asparagus starte at The Mountsorrel

For our mains, again, we both went for something from the specials menu. I opted for the slow cooked steak and kidney pie with rosemary mash and red wine gravy and Mum went for the black tiger prawn thermidor with homemade french fries and green leaf salad. The first thing to say is that the portion sizes were HUGE! Neither of us finished our meals.  The pie was lovely - shortcrust pastry wrapped around steak and kidneys with big rich mushrooms. I would have preferred a little more juice in the pie but once I'd drizzled it with the red wine gravy, it was spot on. The mash was gorgeous - I'll be stealing that one for my own! 

steak and kidney pie at The Mountsorrel
black prawn thermidor at The Mountsorrel

We were both interested to see the black prawn thermidor on the menu and were pleasantly surprised when it came out. 5 big meaty prawns prepared well and topped with a cheesy crust. The homemade fries were great too but the portion was probably enough for 2 to share and as a result, there were lots left. All mains come with vegetables on the side too - skip lunch if you want to fit it all in! 

We were both too stuffed for pudding so we headed home for a lie down. What a lovely place run by lovely people. The Mountsorrel has some really positive points and I'm sure once people realise that the public as well as residents can dine there, they'll find their tables filling up fast! It's great to see a viable gastro style dining option in the village and I'm sure this pace would appeal to families and couples alike. We have Slate up the road but as you'll see from my previous review here, its really not all that. My recommendation - if you don't want curry - head to The Mountsorrel!

Check out their website here and give them a cheeky follow on twitter & facebook for offers and more information. 

*We were invited to dine at The Mountsorrel and didn't pay for our meals. All opinions are my own and the cost would have been circa £45 for one round of drinks, two starters and two mains. 

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