It has been a fair few years since I last visited Dunston Hall in Norfolk, but when I won a three-course meal for two in a charity raffle, I was intrigued to see what it was like for a roast.
Seeing as my mother’s birthday is this week, I took her and my father along for a treat (and I paid for the extra meal – it’s not much of a treat if I make them pay).
Upon arrival, we wandered through to the Brasserie, which has lots of spaced out tables. Unfortunately we were sat at a booth, which I’m not a massive fan of – wiggling in and out of a tight space with a plateful of food at a carvery can prove tricky.
We were shown to the table by the maitre d’, who explained that our waitress, Natasha, would be over to take our orders. It was a nice touch to have the waitress’ name, making the whole experience more personal and human.
Bringing over a The Brasserie menu, she took our drinks orders and gave us plenty of time to choose our starter options.
Lots on the menu
With fish, meat and vegetarian options on offer, all three courses looked tempting. Luckily, I managed to try a bit of all of the starters because we ordered each of the three options between us (the starter is table service). I had the belly of pork terrine with spiced plum chutney and sourdough toast, my mother tried the smoked salmon with creme fraiche, chives and kalamata olives, while my father had the tomato and basil soup with garlic croutons.
The terrine was delicious, with a rough grain, made up of tender layers of pork. The contrasting sweetness of the plum chutney with the meat was very moreish. It was a fantastic appetiser, which wasn’t too rich or heavy to put me off of my main. The smoked salmon was simple, but similarly delicious – having half of lemon to squeeze over the top perfectly complimented the rich fish.
After being left to digest for a few moments, the plates were taken away by the waitress, before being told we could go to the carvery whenever we were ready.
With a choice of vegetarian dishes and a fish dish, I momentarily considered not having a roast – but it’s winter, so needs must.
I opted for turkey over gammon and beef, before loading up with stuffing, sausages, roast potatoes and vegetables. I was impressed by the selection of veg available, with roasted carrots and butternut squash alongside cauliflower cheese (does anybody else understand why this is a carvery staple?!) and Yorkshire puddings. I wouldn’t show myself up by posting a picture of my plate, but I tried a little bit of everything, with gravy (and I finished it all too!).
Because the voucher was for three courses, I couldn’t miss out on dessert. It would be rude. Served on a help-yourself basis, it was a sweet-tooth’s nightmare. There was so much temptation – strawberry and champagne torte, lemon tart, vanilla cheesecake, profiteroles, lemon gateau… again, I will not share a picture of my dessert plate. The lemon tart was remarkably sharp and tangy – palate-cleansing and sweet. The cheesecake was very light too – and very rich. If I hadn’t eaten so much I would have enjoyed it a hell of a lot more.
For £18.95 for three courses, I have to say that it was incredibly good value for money (I didn’t need to eat until breakfast the next day). I would definitely recommend it if you want a special Sunday lunch, especially in the run up to Christmas.