It was with a low level of expectation that we set off to try a Saturday night dinner at The Castle Inn, Wigmore. We'd heard of no one who'd been there and the usual mob who recommended places to us hadn't been forthcoming about this one.
But Wigmore isn't that far from us and there were some favourable reviews on Trip Advisor so we booked a table and went.
On arrival, we weren't that inspired by the inebriated group sitting just outside the front door although they seemed friendly enough. Entering the restaurant we matched the number of diners already there – two couples sat in almost complete silence at opposite ends of the room. We were shown to a round table for four in the far corner and settled down to ordering our first round of drinks.
View from Wigmore Castle
Gin and tonic please is usually greeted with an OK, but at The Castle Inn I was offered a choice – Gordon's or Bombay Sapphire which was much appreciated. The boys chose a red wine they knew and liked and Sue said she'd stick to water for the time being as she had drawn the short straw.
The menu options were varied and interesting with some from the sample menu we'd looked at on line and others not. We made our choices and made ourselves at home as by now there was only one couple left sharing the room with us. It didn't feel as though we'd waited very long when we were brought an amuse bouche of smoked salmon with a hint of some kind of sauce and a few sesame seeds scattered on the plate. As amuse bouches go, it was very simple but unexpected and we enjoyed the surprise.
The starters appeared fairly swiftly and we'd all gone for something different. I think mine was the favourite and it was absolutely delicious. Halloumi with tempura squid and chilli – I like to eat things that I don't cook at home and this fitted that description, but I am very tempted to try and recreate it as it gorgeous. My companions all enjoyed their various options too, but I am sure I chose the best.
Next up were the main courses with three of us lured by the promise of 6 ounces of Welsh Black Fillet Steak, accompanied by creamed spinach, mushrooms and triple cooked chips. There was a small debate whether to have the sirloin or not which came with tomatoes rather than spinach but we all stuck to the fillet. When it arrived, it looked incredibility appetising and we weren't disappointed although the creamed spinach was meagre, but we did have tomatoes! David was the odd one out with his three boned, rack of lamb which he said was lovely.
There is always room in the pudding belly and like the starters we all went for something different.
And like the starters I think I chose the best option – chocolate orange fondant with malted milk icecream. The fondant was amazing, slightly warm and oozing chocolate complimented beautifully by the icecream. David was disappointed with his icecream, billed as a gin and tonic one but was more of a flavourless sorbet although his winberry cheesecake compensated. The other David stuck to his usual choice of bread and butter pudding but this one was apparently lovely with a great custard and apricot on the top and Sue enjoyed her lemon posset with scrumptious shortbread biscuits.
We don't normally have a digestif but this time there was no stopping us, and whilst poor Sue stuck to coffee which came with two tiny flapjacks, we stuck into sweet pudding wine and brandy!