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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