5 October 2018

Restaurant Review: Blandy's Bistro, Kintbury

Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire

When we first arrived at our end destination of RG17 9AA Templeton Road, we wondered if we had reached the right restaurant. Driving through the picturesque Berkshire countryside and through the grand entrance of Audley Village in Kintbury, we parked outside a big manor with Roman inspired garden vases and stone lions who guarded the entrance to an inviting reception.
Blandy's Bistro hid within the main building at Audley Village, and perfectly fitted the styled upmarket vibe of the complex - beautiful paintings hung on the walls, the decor was trendy yet classic, fresh flowers really brought the establishment to life, and the friendly team ensured everyone was comfortable and accommodated.

Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire

I have come across Audley before whilst working with a luxury retirement client in marketing, so I admit I was surprised to see the Audley logo and association with the restaurant. Blandy's Bistro have their own stand alone website and invite diners from the area to come and enjoy great food and picturesque surroundings - but I did wonder how this all pulls together with what I believed was a retirement village. We cleared this up by chatting away to Gert, the head chef at Blandy's Bistro. Gert explained that Audley is not longer a closed retirement village but instead a village that offers facility use to those outside the community - they have a wonderful restaurant which is striving for the AA Rosette; a relaxing spa and pool which welcomes all ages; gym facilities; and beautiful countryside grounds perfect for a stroll with your favourites. They also offer restaurant function rooms for parties, birthdays, baby showers, engagements... You know the drill.

Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire

It was great to get the lowdown on how Audley is evolving and what it's plans were for the future - I now understood the drive to invite influencers and press to come and experience the facilities without mentioning Audley, and let us make our minds up on our own. And as we know the key to anyone's heart is through good food.

Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire

The menu at Blandy's Bistro is seasonal - Gert creates dishes using produce which is in season and some fruits are even grown on the property itself. I'm a huge fan of seasonal and local produce - wherever we can, we shop local and support the shops/restaurants around us. The dishes are classic with a modern twist - oh, and there's even homemade bread to start with. I love bread and butter - it really is the staple food! At Blandy's we were presented with walnut bread which was amazing, ad warm parmesan and parsley bread - perfect with soft butter.

Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire

As a started I had Heirloom Tomatoes with Parmesan Crisp, Mozzarella and Olive Tapenade - I've been obsessing with heirloom tomatoes all summer and this dish was fresh and full of taste. The peeled cherry tomato sauce was sweet and delicious, and the tangy swig of balsamic glaze added zing to the dish.

Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire

Liam opted for the Caesar Salad which was simple, classic, and full of flavour with the addition of anchovies - I love anchovies so for me this added the perfect amount of seasoning to the dish. Isn't it strange how you can know a dish so well, yet when executed by someone with great taste and imagination it suddenly becomes completely different? Big thumbs up from both of us!

Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire

Now on to the main event. Liam ordered the duck with blackberry sauce - the duck was tender and sweet, and perfectly complimented by the sauce. This portion of duck was lean, and perfectly cooked - for us, it's pink meat all the way. If I can have meat rare and fish raw then I take the opportunity! We also ordered a side of fries with our mains - I just love chips and fries, and sometimes you got to do it.

Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire

I opted for the Beef Fillet Rossini - I have never had this dish before but I love beef fillet (one of the reasons I could never be vegetarian!) which was perfectly cooked and rested on a bed of crouton and topped with pan fried foie gras. The whole dish melted in my mouth - I will go as far as saying one of the best meat dishes I have ever had. This is a rich dish, but worth every single delicious mouthful.

Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire

We finished the evening with White Chocolate Mousse with Marshmallow And Raspberry, and Plum and Apple Crumble with Clotted Cream. I'm not a huge fan of desserts - definitely a savoury person - but I love a small and light portion which is exactly what the white chocolate mousse was, and who doesn't love a marshmallow? And a crumble is a dessert classic - steamy tangy crumble with cold ice cream always hits the spot.

Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire
Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood, Hampshire blog, UK food blog, places to eat Hampshire

Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood is a gem which shouldn't be hidden - with delicious food and a welcoming atmosphere, plus the passion of the head chef which shines through all his dishes, Blandy's is clearly on its way way to getting that AA Rosette. We have no doubt in that.

Thank you to the team at Blandy's Bistro - head chef Gert who showed us around and made us feel very welcome, and our waitress Dunia who was warm and accommodating to our every need.

Find out more about Blandy's Bistro - visit their website: Blandy's Bistro at Inglewood

*The food and drink featured in this post was complimentary for review purposes from Blandy's Bistro. All views are my own.
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