A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to visit The Clock House restaurant in Ripley (formerly Drakes) for a gourmet mini-break. I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time as have heard such great things about the food and the restaurant, which was last week awarded a well-deserved Michelin star.
We stayed next door to the restaurant in the most charming Bed & Breakfast, run by a lovely lady called Mindy. The Broadway Barn is stunning place and so, so welcoming. Mindy is clearly very passionate about her home and the overall guest experience. She also loves food and cooking, growing most things herself and making everything from scratch.
It was a beautiful early Autumn evening and we arrived just in time for a little potter around the village of Ripley, which is really charming, before spending time in Mindy’s beautiful garden, getting changed and heading next door for the main event…
The Clock House is set in a beautiful building and, like Mindy’s next door, also has a stunning garden. The perfect place to sit and sip a glass of champagne with delicious canapés. When the temperature started to drop, we heading inside to start our tasting menu.
It was a really creative and seasonal mix of flavours; we started with red pepper, ham hock and lavender, which was followed by smoked eel, Isle of Wight tomatoes with horseradish. I was a little nervous about this second option as the only eel I have liked to date is the teriyaki eel in Itsu, otherwise it’s something I’m a little frightened of! It was absolutely delicious and the tomatoes has been cooked in three different ways to create the most intense, yet delicate flavour. A real triumph.
After the first two courses we were then served Beef, sweetbread, kohlrabi, peas and mustard, which was also utterly delicious and full of flavour. That was followed by a palate cleanser of Thai basil, cucumber and lime before our beautifully presented pudding of Blackberry, hibiscus, apples and shortbread. The meal was such a treat and we opted for the accompanying wine flight, a delicious selection carefully chosen by the charming Sommelier.
Feeling full (but not over full, which again is testament to the restaurant for serving just the right amount!), we pottered happily next door to bed. Our bedroom was so cosy and comfy, we were asleep in minutes. The following morning we awoke to gorgeous sunshine and a lovely view over Mindy’s garden.
This really felt like a gourmet mini-break – as if supper hadn’t been delicious enough, Mindy’s breakfast menu was amazing. I had planned to just have some toast and fruit, but her homemade sausages proved too much to resist, so I opted for the English Breakfast.
We had the most wonderful stay in Ripley. If you are also a foodie and fancy a trip away then I can’t recommend it enough. You can book a double room at The Broadway Barn from £120 a night for Bed & Breakfast. Mindy also has a selection of cottages available for larger groups. A tasting menu at The Clock House starts from £55 per person.
For this feature we were hosted by The Broadway Barn and The Clock House, but as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Photography by Patrick Butler-Madden