• Cara Goulding

Anniversary Lunch

Before my husband, my longest relationship was 2.5 years which seems paltry now in comparison to the 7 years that we have been together. When I think that I have been with him since I was 23 and everything that has happened in that time it seems crazy that we should throw away a perfectly good reason for a celebration just because we are only meant to acknowledge the wedding anniversary now. Especially coming from someone who likes to make a point in all celebrations, including meet-a-versaries and the like.

We were lucky enough to be gifted a three course meal as a wedding present at a 5* boutique hotel with a Michelin star restaurant by William Drabble and what better time to use it than on our anniversary.

We headed out to a very rainy Saturday and ran into St James Hotel & Club shaking our umbrella and were greeted by a very lovely member of staff who showed us to our table, which for once was out of the way and made for two. I remember one date night we went for Chinese in China Town and they put us on a table of 10 right in the middle of the restaurant. It's become a bit of a running joke that we never get the nice secluded table for two!

On a side note - Please forgive me that the photography is not up to it's usual standard, the lighting was a nightmare with shadows galore!

To start we were offered champagne and homemade rolls and butter along with a tiny dish of Salmon Tartare and Beetroot. The homemade salted butter was just beautiful and I struggled not to slather it on to the bread. Whilst we tucked into the first dish we examined our menus before settling on almost the same dishes. Food envy is a real thing that's alive in our relationship.

Our starters arrived with a flourish, the husband had ordered Burrata with Melon and Iberico Ham and I had the Mackerel Seared and Marinated with Gooseberries. Both dishes were gorgeous, the mackerel had lovely crispy skin and flaked apart whilst the creamy texture of the Burrata worked beautifully with the ham. We polished both off far too quickly and our dishes were whisked away whilst more customers started to file in. One of my favourite things to do is people watch and I wasn't disappointed watching an older couple laugh and joke with the wait staff like they came in all the time and a younger couple order a bottle of £170 wine.

Our Mains arrived, we had both opted for the Breast of Duck with White Onion Puree and Cherries. If there is duck on the menu you can pretty much guarantee that we will both pick it. It has to be in my top three duck dishes that I have ever tried, the other two on occasions in France, one in Paris and one in Carcassonne. The meat was just melt in your mouth and cooked to perfection, served with a stack of creamy dauphinoise. Once again we finished our meal with speed, whilst simultaneously trying to slow down to make it last.

We had also ordered the same dessert, Dark Chocolate Tart, Raspberries and Pistachio. The chocolate was rich and matched perfectly with the raspberries and pistachio ice-cream. Once we had finished we thought the meal over however we were then presented with a variety of petit fours and obviously eager to not waste we ate the lot of them, our sticky fingers selecting each one with care. Our favourites were the coconut marshmallows which were little clouds of sugar heaven. Finally sated we sat back and smiled.

I think it is so important to make time for those you love. The longer you are in a relationship, I find, the less likely you are to make an effort to spoil each other. We do try and have a date night every couple of months but it can be hard to stick to, and if we do go out it is normally to the pub. It was nice to make the effort to sit and chat with some beautiful food and wine. A very Happy Anniversary to my husband!

Cara x

#love #food #foodphotography #hotel #diningout #lifestyle #husband #expensive #stjameshotelandclub

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