Being a fan of the Four Seasons Hotel group, when an opportunity arose to visit the property in Hampshire, in the gorgeous countryside, I of course agreed to go. They had recently re-opened their restaurant, with the stunning name Wild Carrot, as well as having just launched a quarterly Social Supper, for which we were invited to experience.
The ingredients for this Social Supper are sourced locally and themed, and for the Winter Menu, which we were experiencing, the key ingredients they were focusing on were Venison and Pear.
Our dinner took place in a the gorgeously decorated private dining room, called Fox Hollow. I was excited to see what resident Chef Adam Fargin had created for the four course meal.
While we mingled with the other guests also attending the special Social Supper, we tried some Gin and Tonic cocktails made with a Gin called Twisted Nose which was from the Winchester Distillery, a producer of artisan Hampshire Gins, which are also stocked at the Four Seasons Hampshire Bar.
We were also fortunate enough to meet the creator of Winchester Distillery, Paul, who entertained us with his story of how he went from working in IT in the city of London to his very epic journey developing the gin using local botanicals.
We then eagerly anticipated the dishes that made up the Winter Menu for the Social Supper. The first course to arrive was made from Watercress, also a popular ingredient found in Hampshire, and was a Watercress Mousse topped with a poached quail egg, saffron mayonnaise (which was absolutely divine) and pickled kohlrabi. I had opted for the Vegetarian menu, and so didn’t try Venison but also the normal menu had the Watercress Mousse with trout.
For the second course, a very beautifully presented Rosary Goat’s Cheese and Potato Pressing arrived. This was served with grilled baby leeks, caramelised pear, Heritage beetroot, roasted hazelnuts and a generous drizzle of walnut vinaigrette. Utterly sublime!
My favourite course was the third course, a Wild Mushroom Risotto served with truffled Brillat Savarin, crispy shallot rings, rocket and pine nuts. It was cooked to absolute perfection, the flavours were all incredible and it was a dish I could definitely devour again!
Dessert is always exciting and the Caramelised Pear Tart served with Bretons shortbread, Devonshire Clotted Cream (which is so good that I had to bring some back from Devon the last time I visited) and Calvados ice cream was absolutely delightful.
The entire meal was absolutely exquisite and such a lovely way to feature seasonal ingredients from Hampshire in such unique, creative and absolutely scrumptious ways.
If you are in Hampshire, or fancy a little trip to experience one of these Seasonal Social dinners, Four Seasons Hampshire is only about 40 minutes from Waterloo Station and a short taxi ride from the station.
The tasting menu costs £58 per person for four courses and a welcome cocktail and the future dates for the Seasonal Socials at Wild Carrot are as follows:
· Spring – featuring Watercress and Rhubarb – Thursday April 19
· Summer – featuring Trout and Strawberry – Thursday July 5
· Autumn – featuring Hog and Apple – Thursday October 4
For reservations, please call +44 (0)1252 853100 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
You can visit their website here.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Four Seasons Hampshire but all views and photos are my own.