Well hello, it’s been a while. It’s been a busy six months for me of which I won’t bore you with as I usually do, but… I’m back. And, I’m back with a bang.
Last week, I was kindly invited to a very special evening at Seaham Hall, the five-star boutique hotel overlooking the Durham Heritage Coast.
If you’re from the North East you’ll certainly be aware of the establishment, having quite rightly earned the reputation of being the most luxurious spa hotel in the region. If you’re not from up here, then you’ll probably know Seaham Hall as the place where all the stars hang out when they’re touring!
The hall is situated amidst 37 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens in a dazzling cliff top location overlooking Seaham’s gorgeous harbour. The building is a restored Georgian country house fuses contemporary luxury with classical elegance to create a truly unforgettable five-star experience.
I’ve visited Seaham Hall a number of times and each time I go, the experience just keeps on getting better.
Head Chef Damien Broom and the team from The Dining Room restaurant welcomed me and a few other bloggers for an evening of decadent dining to sample delicious dishes paired with wine. We were told prior to the event that the restaurant is known for its varied, tasty and often quirky menu, using the finest local ingredients, so you could say I was rather excited to explore their cuisine.
I arrived at the breath-taking grounds on a warm, sunny Monday evening and shown to our very own dining room. The room was absolutely stunning and the views of the backdrop were gorgeous to look out onto. Connor, our very own wine connoisseur for the evening greeted me and my Mam with a glass Taittinger champagne and explained how the evening would unfold.
I was the first to arrive, meaning I got first to pick of the seating arrangements and to see the menu before anyone else.
The menu for the evening was made up of six, (yes, you read that right!) courses from their latest summer ala carte menu. Each course was something a little bit different. By different, I mean I would never imagine combining the ingredients and flavours together so I was intrigued to taste how it would all work together.
Once everyone had arrived, Chef Damien introduced himself to us and gave the rundown on his time and experience at Seaham Hall and an introduction to The Dining Room. He explained about the preparation of the food, recalling how he butchers all of the meat himself and how it was sourced locally. He even joked about not being afraid to experiment with meat which most chefs steer away from. We later learned he wasn’t kidding as one of our dished contained a piece of heart!
Connor, the wine guy who I mentioned earlier, also gave us a little insight into himself and how he became a wine connoisseur. Interestingly, he’d just came back from a wonderful trip to Tattinger itself so shared some of his knowledge with us!
To start the evening we had chicken skin canapes and mackerel caviar which are two things I never thought I’d enjoy but were utterly divine. We also received some sourdough and homemade butter, which knocked the socks off Lurpack!
Then, the menu truly began with the Masham Lamb which had a deliciously BBQ’d. I’m not usually a fan of lamb, I’ll be honest, however, this was cooked to utter perfection and melted in the mouth. Connor pair Sangiovese with the lamb which is red Italian wine and was very fruity!
The second course was wild Whitby sea trout. I’d never tried trout before this but I can say I’ve definitely been missing out. Although a small portion, it was very light and full of flavour.
And then we came to the salt aged duck with grilled heart! Yes, actual duck heart! I adore duck and this dish did not disappoint! The duck was so rich and oozed flavour from the salt. It was also served with a vegetable tart which was really light on the palette and worked well with the duck! I was a little apprehensive about trying the heart but it unexpectantly super tasty.
Now, the menu starts to get even better with two desserts! Dessert is my absolute favourite course on any menu.
Our first dessert was the Strawberry Tart, paired perfectly with Tattinger Rose! It was absolutely delightful, a burst of sweet fruit combined with a thin pastry and cream.
Last, but by no means least, Hereford raspberries with yoghurt, rose and a small piece of dried sourdough which totally freshened up the palette.
All in all, each and every course was heavenly. I can’t even say which was my preferred out of them all because they were all amazing. I thought it was a really nice touch having Connor pair wines with the food and flavours, he was so passionate. The atmosphere was so relaxing yet oh so sophisticated. I had a marvellous time at The Dining Room and I already can’t wait to return.
If you’d like a visit, I have a special offer for you! Buy 2 courses and get the 3rd free by quoting ‘blogger event’ until 19th July.
*I was invited along to Seaham Hall in return for my honest thoughts and opinions.