Delightful Dining

Yesterday was my wife Julie’s 61st birthday. She took the day off work, and enjoyed opening her presents and cards, chatting to family and friends on the phone, and replying to the hundreds of messages she received on Facebook.

I cooked her a late breakfast of traditional English fare. Lincolnshire herb sausages, unsmoked bacon, black pudding, mushrooms, and two fried eggs. The bonus was that the eggs had ‘double-yolks’, so you could argue she had four eggs.

I had already booked a restuarant for her evening birthday meal. We chose the pub The Brisley Bell, in the village of Brisley, four miles from Beetley. This well-known establishment has two big bars, room accommodation, and a large award-winning restaurant in a huge space at the rear. It is extremely popular, but I managed to secure a table from 18:30 until 21:00. As we had never eaten there previously, we had both checked out the menu online. However, I didn’t want to get too excited, as menus can change on the day.

After the short drive in very thick fog, we managed to get the last space in a very crowded car park. The bars were busy, but when we were shown to our table in the Library Room at the back, it was peaceful there, and very nicely lit and decorated. Over a drink, we perused the menu, unusually deciding we would both have the same first two courses.

The chosen starter was Pheasant Broth. This came with assorted wild mushrooms, and delicious small dumplings in a flavoursome broth that was served piping hot.

For main course we had Monkfish wrapped in thin smoky bacon, served with spinach and fresh gnocchi on a smooth white garlic sauce.

Both were absolutely delicious!

After a short interval, we agreed we would also have a dessert. Julie chose the Mango Pavlova, with mango ice cream on the meringue, and slices of mango surrounding it in a mango juice. I had something different, a home-made warm Bakewell tart, topped with a small scoop of pistachio ice cream.

They were good choices, and we were both very satisfied.

Driving home in even thicker fog, we both said it was one of the best meals we had ever eaten, and believe me we have eaten some good meals over the years.

I am not one to take photos of my meal, (Julie did, and posted them on Facebook) but here is a link to The Brisley Bell. If you ever find yourself in this area, you will not find a better place to eat. If you allow the header photos to scroll, you will see the ‘Library Room’ where we ate.

85 thoughts on “Delightful Dining

            1. I found this online.
              ‘In 1971 it became illegal to import haggis into the US from the UK due to a ban on food containing sheep lung, which constitutes 10–15% of the traditional recipe. The ban encompasses all lungs, as fluids such as stomach acid and phlegm may enter the lung during slaughter.’
              I have eaten it on and off for 40 years, and I am sure it is hygienically prepared.

              Liked by 1 person

  1. Belated Happy Birthday to Julie.
    I think she/you will have had a wonderful day with a great dinner.

    The homepage of the “The brisley bell” is very intersting.

    Best wishes, Irene

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely diversion in my day to read this post Pete, thank you. Seems to have been a lovely Birthday Bravo! Hoping your wife enjoyed it as it truly seemed near perfect outside the fog.

    The establishment’s offerings, approach to sourcing/preparation, and ambiance remind me of the Black Swan in the North York area. What was I doing in that neck of the woods? My brother Robert, the “Rocket Scientist” (Really. . he’s a Rocket Scientist) lived in Harrogate for ~6 years. Though the Black Swan wasn’t close and was kind of pricy back then? (and apparently ‘stupid’ expensive today. . .) It was ‘very-high’ value and worth the trip. . . Hell, for that matter? A visit to the Black Swan back then would have been ‘worth the trip’ even from the Western colonies 😉 Sounds like the “Brisley Bell” can give ’em a run for their money! I’d certainly like to find out. If I am ever up in your neck of the woods of blighty I’ll look you up and perhaps we can dine there.

    I am actually somewhat familiar with your neck of the woods too as one of my very close 1st cousins, Diane, escaped London with her husband, Lord John Hamblyn when they closed down the uber-popular Sundown Club in Soho in the mid-eighties and moved to a lovely country estate 20~ minutes outside of Norwich for ~ 7 years. We would visit them there when in the UK until they sold their uber-popular ‘Artful Dodger’ Karaoke Pub in town and escaped to Magaluf ~20 years ago to open a large club there. They are still there in Mallorca, though John isn’t ‘Lord’ Hamblyn anymore as his father passed some years back and John was the 3rd son. He never took the ‘Lord’ thing seriously, and we all had fun taking the mick out of him for years. Just “John” now, and we all love him as he is a delightful and lovely man, and adores his Princess “Di” who we adore as well, though we tease ‘her’ that really, she is now “Queen Di” as she has two adult daughters that rank as right proper ‘Princesses’ 😉

    Cheers, Pete!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. (1) Unsmoked bacon for breakfast; monkfish wrapped in thin smoky bacon for dinner.
    (2) Overheard:
    Phileas: “Hard to see in this kind of weather, Passepartout.’
    Jean: ‘”It’s thick, Fogg!”
    (3) A Library Room in a restaurant? Now that’s food for thought!
    (4) Pheasant Broth and Pheasant Sis are Pheasant Siblings.
    (5) You have wild mushrooms. We have wild mustangs.

    Happy belated birthday, Julie!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I read your description of your meals to my husband. We both felt it sounds like a delicious offering. What a nice way to help Julie celebrate her birthday. The breakfast sounds great, too. Please extend my birthday wishes to Julie.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy belated birthday to Julie. It sounds like you both had a lovely day, and I’m off to check the restaurant out now. One never knows if and when one might end up there, and it sounds like a place well worth a visit. Thanks, Pete, and happy weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like a perfect meal. Those desserts sound heavenly! We will celebrate our 45th Anniversary next Saturday. Hubby has booked a restaurant. I hope it is as good. Wishing Julie a belated Happy Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

All comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.