I’m not sure about the rest of you out there that blog, but sometimes I feel a little bit self-conscious when I’m invited to events that allow you to take none, bloggy friends, along too. I know a few of my friends think this space is silly and have mocked me for it. So, this causes me some trepidation in inviting people along to events. Especially ones that require taking lots of photos.
But last week we were invited to the relaunch of The Prince of Wales pub on Ecclesall Road, here in Sheffield. But as it was my birthday week, and we were invited to bring along a party of four, I decided that I’d see if a couple of our friends who are so none bloggy they don’t even really do social media. So the novelty of me taking photos of their food before they were allowed to take a bite wasn’t as annoying as it might have been for some friends.
Randomly the Prince is a pub that Jim not only used to chef at but is somewhere where we also know a couple of the current chefs – although, I should say we didn’t tell them we were going to be visiting!
On arrival we were offered drinks, Beth and George went for a beer on tap, Jim went for a Jaipur, and I, well, I couldn’t pass up the decorate your own gin bar…….I had a Gin Mare and Mediterranean tonic and then garnishes upon garnishes. I should have maybe chosen something savoury to go with the gin, but I couldn’t resist the passionfruit.
Next, as we were waiting for our table, we were brought a couple of platters of canapes – lots of small versions of things on the menu. As Beth is a pescatarian, we gave her first pick of anything that wasn’t meat and her favourite was a brie bite. The falafal was mine!
Once we were sat down at the table, the real choices started. First up, wine! We decided to go with a merlot to satisfy everyone – I think I am the only white wine drinker of the group and whilst I could have gone with a white, or a gin, I thought I’d stick with the team decision!
We decided, once we’d seen how many items were on the menu, that we’d try and have something different each. It was super easy to do as there were so many different items available. I chose to start with scallops – a choice I will make pretty much every time I see them on a menu, Beth chose the salt and pepper squid (which would have been my second choice, George had a duck liver parfait and Jim went with crispy chicken.
My scallops came with pancetta and lentils which was just delicious, and I had a little taste of Beths squid too. It was really nice!
Our mains did take a while to arrive, but having worked with restaurants in the past, I know that these first nights sometimes run longer on the food than they do once the chefs are used to the menu, but we were bought another bottle of wine, which made the wait feel much less!
Jim had the rack of lamb, picked in part for the dauphinoise potatoes – which to me seems like as good a reason as any to order any meal. Beth had the Sea Bass, George went with the Lobster and Crab fishcakes and I had the Pork Belly. It came with more scallops, but as much as I love scallops I did relent to give them away to other on the table.
My only problem with it all was that I knew we had puddling to come and we’d already had canapes and starters, so I eat everything on my plate, as I had me eye on an eton mess!
And Eton Mess was exactly what I chose for dessert. But with mangos and berries, not the usual strawberries. Beth went with a mini dessert – the cheesecake – and a tea. And George chose to have the crumble. As he was sitting on the other side of the table to me, I had to pass the camera to Jim to get this shot and you can’t imagine how proud he is of the dripping custard shot!
As for Jims pud, he went with a melting chocolate and peanut butter dome. Not only was it gold, but it came with a little theatre to finish!
We did discuss finishing the night with a cocktail, but it was a school night so we decided to forgo those for another time. Plus, after four courses of absolutely delicious food, we were totally stuffed.
I have to say everyone was very impressed with their food, and with the ambience and decor in the venue. Beth and I have decided it’s getting added into our roster of meeting places when we get together for lunches.
And it was so lovely to be able to treat some friends to a really great meal, on my birthday week. I hate having to pick places for birthday meals as I always feel like if one person gets something a bit iffy, it’s my fault for choosing that venue, but we all had such a great meal that we left really happy, full and vowing to return.
[AD – This meal and the associated drinks were given to us free of charge in return for this blog post. But all the words and opinions are mine!]