Hope you had a good Christmas and New Year. It was great to see so many of you over the festive period. Thank you so much for your support; at least you didn’t need to fight your way through the snow drifts this year!
We’re serving a New Year Special Set Menu offering 2 courses for £25 or 3 courses for £30, plus petit fours, coffee or tea. The menu is available at lunch Monday – Saturday and at dinner Monday – Thursday.
2012 is most definitely going to be an Olympic year for The Royal Oak. We are just a few months away from the start of the restaurant extension and the rooms will follow, but a few months later.
We keep a keen eye on the social networking sites and are pleased to report that we’ve had some very favourable reviews/comments on Twitter, Trip Advisor and Blogs recently. Long may it last!
We’re working closely with the local Police to help them address the security problems across car parks in the Thames Valley. I know you’ve heard this before, but can I please remind you to avoid leaving anything on show in your car and/or transferring items to the boot before leaving your vehicle. We are very happy to store laptops and other belongings for you while you are visiting us.
Valentines falls on a Tuesday this year. Our Valentines Menu offers 5 courses, plus petit fours, coffee or tea for £85.00 per person. Valentines always books up quickly, so please book early to avoid disappointment.
WHAT’S UP IN THE KITCHEN by Head Chef Dominic Chapman
January can be a pretty gloomy month. Christmas is over and the dark days of winter are beginning to bite. However, produce in January is surprisingly exciting. Pheasant Pies or Roast Mallard with Swiss chard are my January game favourites.
Forced sea kale and Yorkshire rhubarb are now in full season. The delicate stems of sea kale are a truly special British product which are incredibly versatile and work brilliantly with all sorts of dishes:- a nice fillet of Cornish brill, brown shrimps in spiced butter, a poached egg with hollandaise or Scottish scallops with a simple sauce. For me, best of all, is steamed with lots of butter and a little rock salt. We buy our sea kale from Sandy in Scotland who is possibly the only person now producing this winter delicacy.
Yorkshire champagne rhubarb is also a chef’s favourite ingredient. Grown under candlelight the colour is vibrant pink and can turn any dessert into something a little bit special. We are currently serving rhubarb in our trifle and also in a very light and delicious soufflé. Try something different and poach some rhubarb in water with a little sugar and chilli then serve as a sauce with grilled mackerel!!
Seville and blood oranges are in excellent condition right now and squeezed for their juice make for a healthy breakfast. Otherwise, cut the segments out of the orange and serve them with sea bass and citrus vinaigrette or in a hollandaise as a sauce with sea kale. Blood orange juice also makes a wonderful jelly or refreshing sorbet. Seville oranges for me produce the finest marmalade.
Dominic Chapman – January 2012
THE ROYAL OAK WINE by Sommelier, Michael Trenga
As Dom has indicated, January can be a little flat, so why not fizz it up with Champagne! You don’t need a reason to celebrate!
Three hundred years ago in the cool Champagne district of northern France, acidic, fizzy wines were upgraded with corks held in place with wire and some chemistry (the addition of a little sugar and yeast). Bubbles were trapped in the wine, the flavour was balanced, and Champagne was born!
Champagne is one of life’s elegant extras which can make the most normal situation special.
In France it’s made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier grapes, individually or blended together – very crisp, tart, refreshing and complex. Good Champagne is never one dimensional but has hints of fresh fruitiness and nuances of different flavours from skilful blending.
Happy New Year!
Michael Trenga – January 2012
Back to Nick…………..
The first of the 2012 Royal Oak Wine Club wine tastings is taking place at the pub this Thursday evening. If you would like to find out more about the club please email Roz at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask at reception.
That brings us to the end of our first 2012 newsletter. On behalf of everyone at The Royal Oak, I’d like to wish you a very Happy New Year and thank you very much for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you soon.
To make a reservation and/or for further information please:
Telephone: 01628 620541
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