18 July 2015

Plumber Manor - Sturminster Newton

Last Saturday was my parents wedding anniversary and up until the Thursday before they were under the impressions that it was just another year clocked up. That was until my Nan reminded my Dad that it was a special anniversary – their 40th or Ruby. Wowsers, pretty incredible. There was panic stations in the Wren household. My Dad frantically wanted to book a meal somewhere ‘special’ to celebrate and my Mum wished she was on holiday somewhere ‘special’. Don’t we all!
Anyhow, my Dad managed to pull it out of the bag in real style. He sent my Mum some gorgeous flowers, and made sure he wasn’t at home so she’d have to open the door to this beautiful flower arrangement.
Ruby red flowers
He also bought her some champagne, fudge and to top it off some exquisite ruby earrings from Allum & Sidaway. My mum was suitably impressed. 
I topped off the presents with a red rose plant for the back garden and another pretty red plant which I can’t remember the name of from Palmer’s Garden Centre in Yeovil. The thought was that planting the red rose would celebrate their 40 years of marriage and every time they looked at the roses they’d feel all sentimental. And then the mischievous pup Alfie promptly ate the buds off the red plant I can’t remember the name of. Typical!
Dad ended up booking a table at the Plumber Manor in Sturminster Newton for dinner on Sunday evening, they were fully booked on Saturday and after our visit I can see why.
As designated driver, I picked the parents up who’d already been on the bubbly and off we went across the Dorset countryside. The Plumber Manor is nestled just off a country lane on the outskirts of Sturminster Newton set at the end of a long drive - a perfect setting for the Jacobean country house. Built in the early 17th Century it’s remained the family home for the Prideaux-Brunes. Even on arrival the Plumber Manor has a real British country feel to it. You’d feel very at home if you’d just ended the day at a shoot or been hunting with the Portman.
On entering we were shown to the lounge for drinks and made to feel at home whilst we looked through the menus and devoured are canapés!
Yummy canapés!
Dinner menu
Family crest
The folks - 40 years & going strong!

When popping to the toilet I took advantage of taking a few photos around the hotel, which had a real old school country house feel almost regal, and I’ve since found out one of the paintings in the gallery was Charles I!
Of course I found a mirror!

After about 30 minutes we were shown into the dining room, where there was about 10 tables – very cosy. We had a lovely view out over the lawn and could see the converted barn.


I went with the Crab Mousseline with a Light Curry Sauce for starters. It was mousse like, with little shards of crab holding it together. It was divine! I love crab and would often have Portland crab at Café Oasis in Weymouth, but this took it to a whole new level. The mix of flavours between the crab and the curry sauce sent my taste buds wild. I did revert to school girl behaviour and mopped up the remaining curry sauce with my bread without gaining too many looks!

 Crab Mousseline with a Light Curry Sauce
For mains I chose the Confit of Duck with Chorizo and Apricot Cassoulet, which came with veg on the side to share between the table. The dauphinoise potatoes and carrot/swede mash was perfect cosy Sunday evening veg to accompany my duck and parents fillet steak. The duck was really tender and just fell apart. I wasn’t so sure about the bed of lentils the duck sat on, so made the most of the veg.

Confit of Duck with Chorizo and Apricot Cassoulet

Pudding came out on a trolley and the waitress talked us through the delights from roulade, meringue, to fresh fruits, and lime cheesecake. I was truly stuffed and only had room for coffee – which came with about 8 chocolates on the side. I managed 2 and we took the rest home - classy!
Price wise you could have two courses for £30 or three for £38, whichever way it’s very reasonably priced.
If you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate a special occasion with a laid back British country feel, good succulent food and great hosts then I’d recommend Plumber Manor. My parents even preferred the experience to Summer Lodge!

To find out more about Plumber Manor head to www.plumbermanor.com
Twilight at Plumber Manor

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