Lunch with - Scutchers of Long Melford Essex
PUBLISHED: 12:16 17 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:54 20 February 2013
Reviewed by: Stephanie Mackentyre
BACK in the early 1990s, this 15th century hall house was called the Scutchers Arms and was owned by Greene King. Nick and Diane Barrett purchased the property having run a successful restaurant together in nearby Glemsford. The couple, married for 27 years, met while working together at an hotel in Ipswich. After working together in London and Cambridge, they opened their first restaurant in 1986.
People said we were mad to keep the name, Nick explains. Within the first two years of opening we were named bistro of the year in the Good Food Guide. Using Nicks 32 years of experience in front of the stoves, Scutchers now serve an amazing selection of fine dining delights and it has a great ambiance about it the moment you step inside.
Theres a mix of tiled and carpeted floors, and at one end is a bar with comfortable seating around a large fireplace. The restaurant area has bold, floral prints on one wall with beautiful bay windows which flood the room with natural light highlighting the original beams. Fresh flowers and smart, white linen ensure you feel well cared for as soon as you sit down. I was keen to see what delights had earned the restaurant a double AA rosette each year since 1998 and another mention in the Good Food Guide for 2010.
Nick began our lunch with all-white Brixham crab and smoked salmon. The smoked salmon has been recommended by Good Housekeeping magazine as one of their top five in the country. Served with it were tempura tiger prawns and marie rose sauce. A batter as light as angels breath created an ideal start to the meal.
Grilled fillet of halibut came next, served on a bed of crushed new potatoes with spinach and a warm, curry dressing. The fillet was gleaming white and tasted as if it had been caught moments before it was popped on the griddle, while the curry sauce was a magnificent stroke of culinary genius creamy and just rich enough not to overpower.
Not only do Nick and Diane serve great food at Scutchers, but they also take their expertise on the road with an outdoor catering service. Scutchers can cater for dinner parties right through to large weddings.
Dessert was a scrumptious selection of five mini desserts Nick must have known he was catering for an indecisive sweet-tooth. I think the tiny sticky toffee pud just pipped the rest, although the fresh juiciness of the passion fruit sorbet was superb too.
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