I talk a lot. I love a good natter, can spin several yarns, have been known to embellish a little, digress a lot… basically I love telling stories. If you’ve been following along you might have guessed this already, while those who actually know me will no doubt be nodding your heads in agreement. Ask me what I thought about that restaurant we went to last night or where we ate during our weekend away and you’ll rarely get a simple ‘good or not’ or recited list- there’s always a silly tidbit or memory because it’s always more interesting that way.
This story starts like so… last Friday night I took a certain someone out for a birthday dinner at a surprise location, a much-lauded establishment that has been on our hit-list whiteboard for some time- Restaurant Story. This is where I usually launch into my tale before telling you about the dishes, what we liked, what we didn’t, what we would eat again, you know the drill, but the truth is, I am lost for words. The theatrics of the Full Story experience, the military precision with which we were served, the creativity of the food, the meticulous beauty of each plate, my story telling skills have been trumped by those of chef Tom Sellers.
On paper it says there are ten courses, in reality it was many, many more. At restaurants of this calibre you can usually expect an amuse bouche, a palate cleanser somewhere in the middle and petit fours to finish but at Restaurant Story they take things up a few more levels… we counted a total of twenty-five different items of food to be exact. Not a typo, not a joke, this was spread across four hours of exceptional dining. I don’t have enough words to describe this meal in a way which does it justice so I’m employing that old cliche, putting the words away, and letting the pictures do the talking.
Bread and Dripping
Tomato Amuse Bouche & Onion, Apple and Old Tom
Scallops, Cucumber and Dill Ash
Brioche with Foie Gras, Parsley, Truffle Butters
Heritage Potato, Asparagus and Coal
Wild Stems, Squid and Mushroom Broth
Herdwick Lamb, Sheep’s Yoghurt and Ransom
Foie Gras, Wild Berries and Sorrel & Palate Cleanser
Chocolate, Lovage and Oyster
Almond and Dill & Tea Cakes
Like all good stories, there were some heroes and villains. Every dish that arrived was exciting, nearly all were ridiculously delicious but there were a couple which challenged us. The first half of the story was incredible; where else do you get nine snacks, a candle made of dripping or bread served with four types of butter? The scallops were sublime and the rich mushroom broth was comforting, but then I struggled a little with the richness of the lamb dishes and the overwhelming herbaceous elements in the desserts. I appreciate the desire to stretch boundaries and try new flavour combinations but can a girl just get a sweet treat without being assaulted by the rather divisive flavour of celery?! That said, having less than a handful of questionable dishes in a meal of over twenty still makes this one successful night at the office for the team at Restaurant Story.
So now that we’ve reached the end of the story, would I recommend it? Yes, in a heartbeat. This is not just any restaurant visit, it is a pretty unique dining experience that will take you on all sorts of twists and turns, highs and lows… one you have to try for yourself!