Summer Lunch

 It was a wet Monday, which is rather a rarity this summer, leaving me, I admit, temporarily flummoxed. I had Mother, daughter and husband all suggesting lunch out and all three with vastly differing dietary needs, then me on a diet. For the sake of research however I waived my self-imposed regime…. 

We plumped for Symondsbury Kitchen, where in my opinion you can’t go far wrong. Easy little pootle through the scenic lanes and a pleasing laid back ambiance on arrival. Sadly, it was overcast so we didn’t sit outside on the terrace where I couldn’t help but notice the tubs were overflowing with pink cosmos and tumbling petunias. Two young olive trees sat rather prettily in large pots and if you look up you can spot the dovecot in the old brick wall. Surroundings are nearly as important as the food itself. 

So, to the food. Husband announces he is paying for lunch. I think Mother and daughter demurred rather too rapidly to his offer and daughter announces we should kick off with a bottle of rose. At Symondsbury they have a beautiful pale Grenache from Domaine La Colombette. Described as Delicate – subtle cherry – watermelon. A most beautiful looking (and tasting) rose, having the lightest salmon pink hue. We are off to a grand start. 

Husband orders ham, egg and chips. (His needs and tastes are simple!) The plate comes with lovely slices of ham off the bone, 2 poached eggs with hollandaise sauce and extremely tasty chips. Daughter orders a warm toasted panini with halloumi, roasted red pepper and harissa which she seems more than happy with. Mother goes for an omelette made with three free range eggs with a filling of wilted spinach, caramelized red onions accompanied by an Estate garden salad. She doesn’t talk through the meal which I always take as a good sign. I plump for the ‘dish of the day’ Mezze Platter (a Mediterranean vegetarian dish) which the waitress says is her favourite. Consisting of beetroot kofta (slightly warm and delicately crunchy), goat cheese and spinach croquettes, thyme and honey aubergines (gently browned), hummus (nicely garlicky), and four small slices of toasted granary. 

Everyone is feeling happy and satisfied at this point and then I notice enticing looking desserts going past to an equally contented looking group at the next table. They recommend both the Baboo ice cream and sorbet along with either the orange and almond cake or the beetroot and coconut. There are also vegan chocolate brownies which daughter falls for. I have an outstanding chocolate brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

We round off with two cappuccino’s, a double macchiato and a fresh mint tea. 

We all agree we’ve had a fine spot of lunch in an agreeable location. Relaxed, friendly and pitched just right. 

Afterwards we have a mooch in the Symondsbury store where you can buy award winning home-made produce. 

Not a bad start to the week at all and the forecast says the sun is set to return!