FEBRUARY has nearly passed and by now all of your New Year’s Resolutions should have gone out of the window.
Strict rules such as ‘cut down on such and such’ or ‘spend less’ should now be a fading distant memory. The time has come and there’s only one thing left to do: treat yourself.
Next time you’re on your way to Lincoln (or even if you’re not) take a detour via a side road between Fenton and Saxilby and head towards Doddington.
Nestled in this sleepy chocolate box village is Doddington Hall – an idyllic and picturesque 16th Century country manor and family home.
On the same grounds as this fantasy household and gardens, lies the renowned Doddington Hall Farm Shop and Cafe. The farm shop alone is definitely worth the journey. Offering the finest in seasonal, local food and delicacies sourced from the county to the continent and beyond, the shop and deli will have you salivating on arrival with their stunning array of meats, vegtables, olives, breads, cakes, jams, not to mention crafts and stationery.
But resisting the urge to empty my wallet at the deli counter, I promised myself I’d return, and battled through temptation to make my way to the cafe at the back of the shop.
Naturally, the cafe comes with an irreplacable rustic charm and sense of authenticity – but that is nothing in comparison to the air of class breathed by every inch of the establishment.
As content diners around me chatted happily and tucked into what looked like an awesome plate of fish and chips, I felt briefly adventurous and considered a Doddington Estate wood pigeon burger with jalapenos and a fried Doddington hen’s egg, but eventually calmed down and settled for fishcakes of haddock, salmon and cod, flavoured with dill and lemon juice and served with a smoked salmon salad. While I waited I was brought half a loaf of focaccia bread served with a mixed herb and olive butter, and I can’t explain how satisfying it was. I was already content before my main arrived, which was a further festival of flavour. Light, tasty and made with a remarkable attention to detail, my fish could not be bettered.
I’ve also heard great things about their legendary Friday fish nights and their Saturday night seven –both of which I’m certain I shall return to experience, and you should too.
Resolutions may come and go, but the experience of fine dining and premier quality stays with you. Treat yourself Gainsborough.
By Andrew Trendell
Star Rating HHHHH