Le Talbooth Restaurant, Dedham, Colchester, Essex

Le Talbooth Restaurant

The Restaurant 

Le Talbooth (or specifically, Milsoms catering, the Le Talbooth catering arm) were our caterers for our wedding in March of this year.  This meant we were lucky enough to have a complimentary tasting at the riverside restaurant, Le Talbooth (further tastings are charged at a nominal rate pp). NB. Brides and grooms getting married at Hengrave Hall also get to have wines and champagne paired with their tasting.

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Le Talbooth sent us an extensive menu in advance of the tasting, and asked that we give two weeks notice of our selections for tasting (1 dish pp for each course). Le Talbtooh make the experience really special on the tasting day; we felt very well looked after.  We were welcomed into a cosy bar room, where we were able to peruse our personalised menu for the evening over an aperitif and nuts and bread.

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We then moved into the main dining room which is a very attractive room, filled with perfectly laid tables, a timeless decor and encased with traditional oak beams.

To start we had duck, and a vegetarian spring roll.  The trio of duck, was divine, and each style of duck on the plate – – smoked, rillettes and spring roll – – was better than the next!

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We thought this dish could be a good choice for a wedding in the hope that at least one style would be enjoyed by guests, depending on their individual tastes.  My favourite duck style was probably the rillettes due to the soft texture but rich flavour; I could eat a lot of this!  For our wedding dish, we asked that the roll be made slightly larger, as, although it was crammed full of duck, we thought that if it was slightly bigger it would make more presentational impact.  The head of the kitchen absolutely agreed and was happy to implement this for us. The vegetarian spring roll was also amazing, and much more interesting than other vegetarian starters we have seen at other weddings and had tried previously.  The roll was, as can be seen from the picture, crammed full of filling and the tabbuleh was fresh and sharp, providing a good contrast to the sweetness and warmth from the roll.

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Next we tasted roast sirloin of beef and a rack of lamb. When the roast sirloin of beef came out we thought it looked a real mess! The sauce was too heavy for a spring wedding, and the meat was not the best quality.

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The lamb, on the other hand, was absolutely beautiful.  The meat was perfectly done, meaty but the size of the portion was not overwhelming.  The vine tomatoes were so sweet and soft, they went perfectly with the lamb meat.

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To end our tasting, we shared a salted caramel brownie which we thought could be popular with wedding guests (given how in vogue salted caramel is and it would satisfy even the sweetest tooth), and a strawberry pavlova which was lovely and fluffy and crisp, with gorgeous sweet syrupy fruit.

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Both of these deserts are presented well, but the brownie has a real edge with the lovely shard of hazelnut brittle sticking out of the brownie.  We were so torn between these gorgeous deserts that we decided to have both for the wedding, and serve them alternatively to guests on each table with the encouragement that they be shared between guests.

Overview

It is easy to see why Le Talbooth is an award winning restaurant.

The food and service is very good, the setting on the riverside would be stunning in the slowing summer sunshine, and the main dining room and bar are very aesthetic with lovely traditional beams.

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