Now I know Valentine’s Day is a big con, and everything is ridiculously expensive for example the chocolates, the flowers and restaurants all have a valentines day price, which is generally more expensive than any other day of the year. Lots of people don’t bother with valentines day at all, and really it’s just a day where the shops can charge the earth for a card!
With that said it is still a day that Luke and I celebrate, not that we need a day to tell each other how much we love each other as we do that everyday, nor do we need a designated day to buy each other a little gift, because again, we do that when we like.
I guess it’s just something that we like celebrating, it’s in the yearly calendar and falls on the same day every year so why not indulge and celebrate it?
Okay Luke and I are slightly more extravagant than a card and some flowers and we have had to put a spending cap on it this year, because otherwise we both get carried away! But in absolute all honestly it’s not and never has or ever will be about the monetary value, and I know whether I bought Luke a Mulberry passport cover or a packet of peanut M&M’s he would love it no matter what, and vice versa of course.
What with Valentines day falling on a very unromantic Wednesday, we decided that we would wait until the weekend to go out and celebrate. Actually Luke had already planned a romantic meal for the Friday night, he wouldn’t tell me anything about other than the dress code so I at least knew what to wear!!
In fact Luke kept it a surprise until we had pulled up outside the restaurant! he really is so good at giving absolutely nothing away!! Where as I am almost bursting at the seams if I have a surprise for him.
The Restaurant that Luke had picked for our Valentines meal was Le Talbooth in Dedham near Colchester. Luke had been here before a few years before he met me, but I had never been.
Le Talbooth is located in the countryside, off the beaten track and quite easy to miss! Its a beautiful tudor building set in stunning grounds (although it was dark and I couldn’t quite see everything). Our table was booked for 20.45 but we arrived 15 minutes early, luckily our table was ready and we were seated straight away. Looking around I could see the restaurant was lively and busy. We were lead to a table for two which was unfortunately located right near the main walkway, and very close to the table next to us, so close in fact we knew they were having a domestic, it was a bit awkward and Luke and I spent the first 5 minutes just looking at each other!!
The service we received here was very prompt, we got given the menus and the wine list first, although for me it was all about the bloody Mary’s!! Once we ordered we were bought over some crusty bread and butter, and Luke had a Vodka diet coke and I had……… a bloody Mary, and a very good one at that!
The food was bought out in a timely but not too rushed pace, there was time in between the courses to let your food go down before the next course.
Up first were the Starters, Luke and I both opted for the Winter Truffle and Manchego cheese ravioli with Mushroom purée, tahoon cress and trompette de la mort. This is a vegetarian starter and it was delicious, very rich and so tasty.
For our mains Luke went for the Fillet of dry aged Dedham vale beef rossini with Rosti potato, spinach and Madeira jus (from the A la Carte menu), whilst I had (from the vegetarian menu) Caramelised onion tatin with a Friacassé of broad beans, peas, baby gem and goat’s cheese.
Desserts was a tough choice but in the end Luke settled for the Belgium triple chocolate brownie with Macadamia nuts, salted caramel, tonka bean and maple ice-cream (a very popular choice from what I could see). While I settled for the Pecan and Chocolate pie with Mango, praline and lemon curd. Now I have to say mine was very delicious but pretty sickly and I couldn’t eat all of it as I was SO full!! I did have a taste of Luke’s and his was slightly nicer than mine, the brownie had more too it than the pie did. But both were very very nice!!
The atmosphere in Le Talbooth was very relaxed, it wasn’t too noisy that Luke and I couldn’t engage in a conversation or hear each other, we didn’t at any point feel rushed, even when we were only one of two tables in there at the end of the night. The restaurant was clean and well presented as were the toilets. And the staff I found to be friendly and efficient.
If I had to fault Le Talbooth, I would say
1) The vegetarian menu could do with some more dishes, and 2 of the 3 dishes contain egg, a confit egg and a quail egg, something I am not too keen on , and I am unsure whether or not there is a vegan menu as I didn’t ask.
2) The tables where we were sat really were too close together, a little more space would have been nice, especially with a little domestic going on next to us.
All in all I had a lovely here with a very lovely man, I would love to go back and here again and would most defiantly recommend it too anyone looking for a nice romantic dinner.
I can’t comment on the prices as I didn’t pay, although the prices are on the menu’s which I have linked in.
Thanks for stopping by