Wednesday, February 25

Turning 21: Part 2, The Olive Branch

Last weekend, as hopefully you will have seen on my last blog post, I turned the big 2-1.
Whilst I spent this day having an absolute blast with my direct family and friends, I of course needed to spend some time and celebrate with the rest of my family.

And so, on Sunday morning I hopped on a train back down to the shire to receive a warm welcome from my parents at the station.
We rushed off to the nearby Olive Branch in Clipsham, Rutland where we had rented out their barn.
But this was no ordinary pub, the Olive Branch has in fact been named 'Pub of the Year' 2014. 
Was I excited??
Well, that's an understatement.

Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos of the main restaurant/pub that's tucked around that corner, but I promise you that it is such a beautiful setting. Imagine an classic, snug pub with roaring fires and a warm welcome. It's just wonderful!

In need of some strong coffee after the long trip, my parents, brother & I admired the room and cake (Made by my incredible mother! Just in case you wonder where I get my baking addiction from...), whilst we waited for our guests.

A ski themed cake?! My mother knows me too well.
(Especially how in T-minus 4 weeks I'm going skiing! Woooo!!)

Slowly but surely, our family and close friends all arrived and champagne bottles were popped.
After having a quick catch up, we all sat down with rumbling stomachs for some incredible pub grub.

After tucking into some incredible (and I don't say that lightly) warm, local breads, we dug into our starters.
I plumped for their hot smoked salmon, beetroot carpaccio & horseradish cream.
Salmon is one of my favourite foods on the planet so even though I was temped by the wood pigeon tart, there was never really any contest.

It was a dish of beautifully smoked salmon that went perfectly with the crispness of the beetroot and the overall flavours.

The conversation flowed between the 18 of us as everyone caught up on the past few whirlwind months.
That was until the main course was placed before us...

Perfectly cooked roast beef, with all of the trimmings, or pan fried cod with a hummus crust & bacon... It was a hard choice. 
But once again beef was always going to win in my books.

Finally, the meal concluded with chocolate mouse for myself, endless coffee and huge wedges of the finest cheese...

... And of course, that wonderful genoise ski cake created by my mother. 

The Olive Branch was the perfect setting for such a wonderful final birthday celebration with my nearest and dearest. 
The food was done to perfection, the service impeccable and the setting just beautiful.
A huge thank you to the staff of the Olive Branch for being so accomodating, all of our guests for travelling such long distances to celebrate with us, and lastly... One enormous thank you to my parents for such brilliant birthday celebrations that I will never forget.  


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