Page 57 - Poole Audi Feast Magazine Edition 2
P. 57

Enter La Fosse, a home from home – it’s like you are visiting friends. To the left the traditional restaurant area and a roaring  re to sit by and drink red wine or sherry (we love a chilled Fino every now and then), to the right the stairs to the six bedrooms (cosy and well equipped), and a door to the courtyard with a cunning ‘barbeque function hut’ centre stage.
Mark and Emmanuelle have made the very most of the space that they have in Cranborne, and the time that they have spent in hospitality – between them they boast a catalogue of career achievements at the likes of Chewton Glen, Pebble Beach, and Summer Lodge to name but a few and now La Fosse with a list of accolades including; Restaurant of the Year, Best Small Dorset Business of the Year and notably Best Dorset Cheeseboard of the Year – Mark knows his cheese for sure!
We have two glasses of Colombard Ugni Blanc, Richelieu Vin de Pays with sourdough bread from ‘up the road’, peanut dukkah, oil and butter and then to start – obviously, a baked Capricorn goat’s cheese with  g and apple chutney and salad leaves – set melting in a pastry case. It is magical and bodes well for the rest of the evening.
The  llet of mackerel with pea purée, ginger and chilli and roasted beetroot, again a delight – the mackerel’s striking skin gleaming and a rich  avour with earthy beetroot and a gentle heat from the chilli.
We move onto a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon – Domaine de la Citadelle with a  llet of cod with spinach, mash, and lemon sage beurre blanc. It is beautifully  eshy,  aky and  avoursome, the beurre blanc tangy – a lively partner for the cod. The venison with citrus poached quince, celeriac, and sprouts with a dark chocolate and berry jus is pink, rich, and  t for a king! Both mains make exceptional value for money too, considering the quality of the dishes, at under £21 each.
The dark chocolate and espresso pot with mulled wine sorbet is a seasonal stroke of genius, the Linzer torte showing some of Emmanuelle’s German in uence... and then the impressive cheeseboard with nibbles and crackers...
We get a cheese tour from Mark himself – what a treat. A selection to savour with the mildest to start; three Rosary
goat’s cheeses from Fordingbridge, including the Capricorn which we had earlier – versatile and rich, Woolsery hard goat cheese from towards Dorchester, then four cheeses from Alison who’s 300 yards up the road; Chalk Valley Cheese, Tregonwell (they were originally from Cranborne), Old Harry mild Cheddar, and Cranborne and Dorset white – identical but matured di erently. There is also Tunworth, which is slightly stronger, two from Lyburn Farm from the other side of Fordingbridge – garlic and nettle (we learn that nettle is a tradition in cheese as it was used to make vegetarian rennet), Old Winchester aged for 18-20 months and a ewe’s milk on the end created by the cheesemaker that made Old Sarum!
Full house ...and stomach – what a night – we are  nally shown around the barbeque hut before we retire. What a fun idea the barbecue is in the middle, with seating for up to 14. Mark does the prep and you do the rest – we’ll be back for that for sure as long as we get a cheeseboard as well!
And after digesting this review – we leave the standard of breakfast to your imagination...
La Fosse
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