If we can’t go out to a restaurant we will bring the restaurant to us – with the help of Devonshire Hotels and their wonderful food box!
Last year (when we were allowed out the house!) we enjoyed a fantastic stay at the Devonshire Arms Bolton Abbey and enjoyed a delicious meal in the restaurant so we were confident that the quality of the food we were going to receive in their food box would impress us.
The box contains three scrummy courses with two choices for each and also some optional extras you can add on if you choose.
Our box arrived well packed and still chilled, with each course in its own box so there was no deciphering which ingredient was for which course! Talking of packaging, from the middle of this month they are changing how the boxes are packed by using plant-based compostable food packaging. Big kudos for this. I cant imagine how hard it is sorting out the logistics and packaging for these amazing meal boxes and I think it says a lot about them for focusing on eco-friendly packaging.
Back to the food. Our starter was ‘House cured salmon, heritage potato salad, pickled red onion and citrus dressing’ and as a cold starter this couldn’t have been easier to prepare – it simply required plating. We could tell how fantastic the salmon was before we had even served it up. It was a very beautiful piece of fish.
The potato salad was a lovely accompaniment, the pickled red onion adding a nice ‘zing’ to the dish and, of course, the citrus dressing was a perfect match with the delicious salmon.
We both thoroughly enjoyed the salmon starter. It is a dish I would order in a restaurant and it tasted just as good as a restaurant starter and the fact it required no cooking was definitely an added bonus!
Our main course was ‘Roasted salt aged sirloin of beef, Yorkshire pudding, duck fat roast potatoes, swede, red cabbage, cauliflower cheese and red wine jus’. I have to be honest I had my reservations about cooking this dish. Would my Yorkshire puds turn out like pancakes? Would I murder the beef by overcooking it?
The Yorkshire pudding mix is provided so you simply need to heat up the fat in your tray and that is it. However, my kitchen has produced some fantastic Yorkshire puddings in the past but it also produced some big flat flops! Well I am happy to say I pulled out of the oven what can only be described as the king of Yorkshire puddings! Full marks for these epic creations!
Now for the beef. Clear instructions and timings were given on the recipe card – I cooked and rested our beef so it would be rare, just how Mr B and I like it. Of course, we didn’t really know the results until the last-minute carving after it had rested. I took a deep breath as Mr B cut it into nice thick slices and we both cheered with joy – it was perfectly pink and looked so good!
The roast potatoes and cauliflower cheese were simply popped in the oven with the other veggies quickly heated up on the hob. It is safe to say the Devonshire were very generous with the portions as we both had full plates and enjoyed all the elements to this epic roast dinner. The star was absolutely the beef – it was so tender, melted in the mouth and was full of flavor. Again, you could really tell the quality of the produce here.
Can you spot Snoopy? Don’t feel too sorry for him – we did save him a small bit of beef!
Now onto what is always my favorite course of any meal, the dessert, and this would 100 per cent be something I would order from a restaurant menu. It was ‘Dark chocolate fondant, toffee sauce and candied pecans’.
Again, I put my trust into the provided instructions and popped the fondants in the oven for eight minutes, while the sauce was simply hearted up on the hob.
Plating up was easy with the fondants popping out the cases easily. It was just a case of piping the cream on the plate, scattering on the pecans and pouring the sauce.
I can only describe this as one sexy tasting dessert – it was absolutely delicious! The fondants were perfectly molten in the middle and tasted rich and decadent from the dark chocolate, and the toffee sauce added a big hit of sweetness with a lovely crunch added from the pecans and freshness from the vanilla cream. It was a stunning dessert and I was so happy that the fondants came out perfectly!
We both really enjoyed this food box. It had very clear instructions with no preparation required, top quality ingredients, minimal washing up and delivered three delicious, restaurant-quality courses!