Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Great House, Lavenham, Suffolk 30th April 2011

We visited The Great House Restaurant the day after eating at Maison Bleue. The restaurant is situated in the tiny village of Lavenham where most of the buildings have been around for six hundred years. The Great House is a hotel as well as a restaurant.

At first, we saw nothing familiar about the interior of the restaurant. However, it slowly dawned on us that The Great House shared some similarities with Maison Bleue. Both restaurants have very similar abstract paintings on its walls.  Both restaurants also had very similar flowers on its tables. My brother then pointed out that The Great House served the same bread as Maison Bleue. Our waiter then explained that the same company runs both The Great House and Maison Bleue. The staff at The Great House was a lot friendlier than those at Maison Bleue though.

For starters, my mum went for the tuna and mackerel sushi with olive oil, lemon juice and sesame seeds. It was a very delicate dish and the fish was not overpowered by the lemon flavour. My brother had a ballotine of foie gras marinated with Port and served with grilled brioche. My brother thought the flavours complimented each other well and the presentation of the dish was exceptional. I had saddle of rabbit for my starter, which I enjoyed immensely. My dad’s choice of carpaccio of veal with lemon juice and Parmesan cheese was inspired. The meat was incredibly thin and just melted in the mouth. We were all impressed by the quality of the starters.

For main course, I had rack of English lamb with rosemary sauce. The meat was beautifully cooked but the rosemary sauce was perhaps just a tad too subtle. The rest of my family had the venison with red wine, mustard and cranberry sauce. The venison was by far the star of the show.  It was cooked to perfection and packed a strong flavour. 

For dessert, my mum opted for a selection of Suffolk cheeses from the cheeseboard. All the cheeses she chose were very strong in flavour and aroma. I am not one to judge cheese, as I have a dislike for the strong ones, but my brother and dad both agreed that these cheeses were very good. I had an apple tarte tatin with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. The tarte was gorgeous. The apples weren’t too sharp, but had enough tang to balance the sticky caramel sauce. The ice cream gave it a bit more moisture. My dad and brother both had the orange tian, which was a shortbread biscuit topped with marmalade and fresh orange segments. Both thought it was a good dessert, although my brother more so than my dad. All the desserts came with small sugar-crafted objects, which my dad thought were a bit too sharp and uncomfortable to eat. 


Food quality 8/10
Service 8/10
Ambience 8/10
Presentation 8/10
Value for money 8/10


An overall better experience than Maison Bleue, with friendlier staff, better food and better value for money. The waiters and waitresses coped brilliantly with the annoying wooden beam hanging from the low roof, and the manager, who was amiable and amusing, charmed us. We would definitely go again in the future.

Author - CT (13)

Photography - LT (15) and DT (40) 

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