Guest blogger Dawn Maidstone takes a trip the The Wildebeest restaurant in Stoke Holy Cross to celebate a special occasion.
Every year we celebrate The Boy’s birthday with dinner at somewhere of his choosing – and this year we headed to The Wildebeest in Stoke Holy Cross.
Although it’s only 15-20 minutes’ drive from Norwich city centre, it’s easy for city-dwellers like us to overlook this place, but it certainly shouldn’t be!
After a warm, sunny week, in which autumn had truly arrived, we were pleasantly greeted by the warm and cosy feel that The Wildebeest offers, with its mellow lighting and a single candle atop each table.
Because it was a Monday evening, we weren’t expecting a full house, but within half-an-hour of our arrival, each table filled up.
We ordered our drinks – the standard choice of prosecco for me and gin for The Boy – and we were shown to our table. It was a bit small but perfectly adequate for two.
The tables were a variety of shapes and sizes made of solid wood. Paired with heavy, solid wooden chairs and exposed beams, the look was rich and rustic throughout.
After taking our order, the friendly and attentive waitress took presented freshly warmed granary rolls.
I would usually choose scallops when dining out, but this time I selected lamb. The Swannington fillet was delicately displayed on top of a delicious shallot puree and crispy bacon crumb, served with glazed shallot slices and courgettes.
Mackerel was The Boy’s choice. The pan-fried fillet was coupled Brancaster muscles and decorated with a cucumber martini and herb mayonnaise.
The main course
My pan-roasted Gressingham Duck, served pink, was accompanied by crispy yet fluffy roast potatoes and a sweet surprise of baked apple chunks.
All were served on buttered spinach and a red wine jus, with a helping of purple cauliflower on the side.
The Boy’s Billingsgate halibut fillet was poached to perfection. Although it wasn’t as visually appealing as my plate, it was stacked with flavour. From saffron cocotte potatoes to the deliciously creamed cabbage and pancetta, it was delicious.
As a chocolate lover, there was no question about my pudding choice. It was every bit as indulgent as the menu suggested: aerated chocolate-orange, served with light and fluffy sponge alongside vanilla mascarpone and decorated chunks of white chocolate.
The Boy opted for one of his favourite puds – crème brûlée. As expected, it disappeared far too quickly for me to try!
The vanilla crème brûlée was with served with a sweet and gooey blackberry bomb, plus a pistachio macaron. It was also accompanied by a refreshing blackberry-and-creme-fraiche-ripple sorbet.
Hi, I'm Lucy. I've lived in Norfolk since 2001 and in that time I've grown to love this fine county. From the city of Norwich, to the countryside villages and sweeping coastline, there's so much to explore and hope to share my experiences with you here.