Page 13 - Poole Audi Feast Magazine Edition 2
P. 13

Abbots Cellar at the Priory Hotel
Even arriving at the Priory Hotel in Wareham is impressive – by boat up the River Frome or by car past Wareham Priory itself, with over 1300 years of history to divulge. Then, along cobbles and into the Grade II Listed Building in which the hotel resides, a gracious greeting and drinks on the River Terrace, in the sumptuous drawing room perhaps with a piano accompaniment and always immaculate, or in the Cloisters Bar.
The boutique hotel is the perfect venue for every occasion – be it a party, celebration, anniversary, intimate dinner for two, afternoon tea or Sunday lunch. But we are here to discuss dinner.
Wherever aperitifs are taken the service is attentive and formal – and canapés are welcomed over menu decisions, and indeed are included in the three-course dinner price point of under £50 per person, which is exceptional value over other comparable  ne dining experiences on the Feast tour.
The Abbots Cellar is a subterranean retreat where diners step back in time under exposed candlelit beams and alongside exposed stonework. The sophisticated menu o ers a great choice of elaborate starters including; kiln roasted salmon rillette, beetroot and vodka salmon, marinated foie gras terrine and Serrano ham and chorizo niçoise salad with the ham hock – the con t pheasant pressed terrine being one of the best starters to date... The baked Capricorn goat’s cheese with apple, pear and  g chutney, a Parmesan crisp and herb oil was a real indulgence, the cheese creamy, earthy, and salty and a superb choice to help take advantage of the abundance of breads and Melbas on o er...
There is a great choice of  sh – varying with season and conditions – whole Dover sole (which carries a supplement), salmon and  llet of halibut. The dressed Portland crab is a signature as is the lobster – in any one of head chef, Stephan Guinebault’s, outstanding presentations.
The wine list is exceptional, easy to navigate and advice is at hand – so take advantage of the knowledge on o er and treat yourself, as any meal in the Abbots Cellar is an occasion.
The Little Acorn Farm pork tenderloin with pressed belly and fondant potato is a generous serving, colourful, fresh, and al dente vegetables and extra Dubonnet jus is not a problem – and in fact nor is anything else for the clipped team.
Desserts are elaborate, exotic, and beautifully presented and include macaroons, parfait, cheesecake, and the milk chocolate and hazelnut delice with a raspberry coulis is rich and sharp.
The cheeseboard is an experience as is the whole evening.
This is a charming hotel with a traditional theme, and one that is enjoying an alternative to the Abbots Cellar in the form of a new restaurant. In keeping with the tradition of Grade II, it extends from the main building towards the river, and is serviced by its own kitchen – this, a great asset to the hotel and to visiting diners, but nothing will compare to the supremacy of Abbots Cellar... or will it? 01929 551666
The Priory, Church Green, Wareham Dorset, BH20 4ND

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