Christmas can sometimes feel like you’re just rolling from one huge meal to the next. But actually, how memorable is the food? Can you remember last year’s? Was the turkey amazing? Did the Christmas pudding really deliver? Did you stop to savour each course? Or just power through on a wave of Prosecco and Pinot?
Here at Arbor, the 2 AA-rosette restaurant at Bournemouth’s Green House Hotel, we are on a mission to bring truly unforgettable Christmas dining to the foodie masses. We are retaining all the flavours of the season – and taking them to a whole new level, gastronomically speaking.
Our Christmas Themed Tasting menu evening, on 1st December, is tailor-made for small groups or couples who wish the food and the wine, not the tinsel and baubles, to take centre stage.
It’s ideal for gastronomes without a bottomless wallet. The Tasting menu is £30 per person, with a wine flight of three wines (your choice) just £12 extra per person, and five wines an additional £20 per person.
All your favourite Christmas flavours will be here – but with a unique and unforgettable twist. And of course, as with everything at the Green House Hotel, Bournemouth’s most eco-friendly luxury boutique hotel, the ingredients will be ethically and sustainably sourced. Here are a few examples of our unique take on traditional fare.
All very well and good roasted over an open fire. But Andy has taken this beautiful shiny, quintessentially Christmassy nut and created a deliciously creamy foam (sorry foodies, “espuma”) which pairs wonderfully with succulent hand-dived roast scallops for a super-elegant starter.
Another must-have at the Most Wonderful Time of the year. But salmon needs some help to stand out on special occasions now that it’s a year-round staple of the lunchtime sandwich. So for Course 2 of the Christmas Tasting Menu we have Andy’s Scandi-inspired “gravlax”: he uses Bournemouth-distilled Conker gin to cure delicious South Coast salmon straight off the boat – a great example of Andy’s commitment to local and ethical sourcing. It’s a real seasonal treat.
Goose, duck, pheasant – you name it, foodies have tried it to avoid dry and tasteless Christmas turkey. Here at Arbor, however, we urge you to give the traditional British bird another try. Andy uses organic, free range Norfolk Black on his Christmas Tasting Menu – and indeed, all our Christmas dinners. Reared for more than six months, the Norfolk Black bird has a much tighter, firmer breast that produces moist, flavoursome meat. Served without apology in the time-honoured way with sage and onion stuffing, it’s ideally matched with our Chilean red, Montes Limited Selection Casablanca Pinot Noir 2014, or, for something very special, a bottle of Akarua Pinot Noir 2013 from New Zealand.
OK, it’s not strictly speaking a Christmas thing but in our book it’s one of the most delicious and versatile winter-season veg around. For our vegetarian/vegan main course on the Christmas Tasting Menu, foodies will be glad to hear there isn’t a roasted nut in sight. Instead, Andy has produced fabulous little Pumpkin Gnocchi served with Braised Green Lentils and a Wild Mushroom Duxelle. A riot of colour and flavours, it’s a stand-out dish that would hold its own at any festive table.
Not one but two almond-based confections feature in our incredible Almond Frangipane, Marzipan and Raspberry Sorbet. Marzipan, of course, is the undisputed winner between the two in the Christmas flavour stakes. An inspired pairing with tart Raspberry (a match made in foodie heaven) has produced a subtly sweet, festive sorbet like no other. Superb with a glass of sweet Valentin Bianchi Late Harvest Semillon 2011 from Argentina.
Christmas Pudding Parfait
What do you serve for dessert at the end of a five-course Christmas menu? Well, for us it’s a no-brainer: something with all the flavours of the traditional Christmas pud but with none of the heaviness. So we bring you our homemade alternative festive sweet – boozy, fruity, and creamy but also light and cool. Served with a hint of gingerbread for extra festive brownie points, it’s the perfect combination of tastes and textures to finish off our foodie Christmas menu.
Places are now limited for the Arbor Christmas themed Tasting Menu on 1 December. Call us today to book your table on 01202 498900 or go online here.