This is a Country Hotel Restaurant that you should not use if you are in a rush, or with a party of gossipy old friends: this is a restaurant where you need to take your time to savour every delicious mouthful quietly and at leisure. This is not a cheap-and-cheerful caff! Way back in June 2010 I wrote about a restaurant where two people could eat for £20: The Auberge is at the other end of the scale – this meal cost almost £60 for the two of us. I doubt if I will ever exceed this!
Oh but what a treat to eat properly considered gourmet food; not a ‘catering’ chip in sight. As soon as you enter the tidy car park, it is evident that this is an altogether smarter, up-market eatery.
Inside is cosy and welcoming, and we ordered our drinks at the little bar before being seated at a table under the window. I could have had a glass of champagne but declined as I feared the cost, but I later spotted that it would have been a reasonable £7.50 – maybe next time [what ‘next time’!! Ed]. I noticed that instead of flowers on the tables there was a bowl of big fat lemons and limes; how lovely to see them. I had left my husband at home with the beginnings of a cold and only half a mouldy lemon to go with his honey. I mentioned this to the waiter and he gave me three to take home. I know it only amounts to about £1, but it was a very kind gesture.
Whilst we nibbled fresh warm bread and butter we studied the menu. I ordered the seafood salad which consisted of thick slices of marinated salmon and numerous large prawns on the best dressed green salad I have ever had; it came with little triangles of pumpernickel bread and was altogether wonderful. My companion chose pork tenderloin with risotto and mixed veg: I was allowed a taste of this and can report that the meat was succulent, the sauce exquisite, and the risotto creamy.
Dessert is always a worry for me; will it be big enough? My passion fruit roulade did not disappoint. Surrounded by sharp fruity mango sauce the creamy filled sponge slices were rich and satisfying. My friend chose the Panettone bread and butter pudding and almost failed to finish it – this was a generous serving indeed. Again I was allowed a taste, and instantly swooned at the taste of it; egg custard with the inimitable flavour of the Panettone with a good dollop of Masala sauce. We each followed this with coffee which came with a plate of sweeties; my coffee was a small cafetière of really fresh, hot, strong coffee, my friend had a cappuccino. In actual fact my cafetière would have done for both of us – I had three little cups full and had to leave the rest. The sweeties were hunks of home-made fudge and mint chocolates.
I asked the efficient and unobtrusive waiter about disabled access as the porch and front door were not encouraging: he assured me that there was much better access at the side of the restaurant where the hotel rooms were located.
The toilet was smart with black and white tiles and shiny chrome fittings. No hand towels, but a pile of small individual terry towels and a bin to drop them in when used. I hope no one pinches them!
Wine £ 6.90
Coke £ 2.10
Coffee £ 5.50
Yaxley, nr Eye
Suffolk IP23 8BZ
Right on the A140 between Norwich and Ipswich.
Tel: 01379 783 604
web site: http://the-auberge.co.uk/?c=en
Please note that the restaurant is closed all day Sunday, and on Monday and Saturday Lunches
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