Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall, however, suggests that smell and memory can be easily tricked. One deep, tantalising inhalation of his “Bread, Butter, Dripping, Beef Tea” opening dish and I was deeply nostalgic for Sunday afternoon teas in Yorkshire with my nan. Which will come as a huge surprise to my nan who lived in Enfield for most of her life and was far too middle class for Bovril.

The dish, as explained by the lovely team at Grantley Hall’s Michelin-starred restaurant, is a throwback to Rankin’s childhood memory and, as the above might suggest, it’s a wonderfully intense thing where the apparent simplicity – the menu descriptions focus on, typically, the two or three key ingredients on the plate – masks the remarkable technical skill to make such an unassuming sounding dish so intensely memorable; a pattern repeated across the entire 10-course snacks-to-sweet experience.

The food

The menu is billed as a “Taste of Home” as, while the technique is French and the influences global, the ingredients, for the most part, are from Yorkshire or the Grantley Hall kitchen garden. As a result, there’s an obvious, easy seasonality to the menu. The Yorkshire location also means that, for all its obvious formality and Michelin-starred precision, there’s a relaxed air to service and an underlying sense of fun, for those that want it. If you’re here to worship at the altar of fine dining, go to it. Knock yourself out. There’s more than enough here to keep you delighted. But if you want something a little more… well, northern, they’ll rapidly pick up on that vibe.

The wines

Wine pairings come at two levels, and the selected “prestige” was every bit as good as you’d expect, and considerably more varied than you might anticipate, with wines from Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, Canada and Italy playing as much a part as the French.


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