The Dairy: Milking It

Gluten-free bread often leaves a lot to be desired, so dunking it in a puddle of extra virgin olive oil with Maldon salt and cracked black pepper is just what the doctor ordered. Not at The Dairy. Here it is simply all about the butter. None of this straight-out-of-the-fridge-rock-hard nonsense either; the bone marrow butter comes room temperature and spreads like velvet. A smooth start, to say the least.

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Choosing the Tasting Menu; seven courses for £40, is a no brainer. In sparkling form, we toast to the evening ahead with two glasses of Despina 2012; an interesting one, especially as it’s the only BTG bubble option on the menu. It doesn’t blow me away but my attention soon turns to the juicy-looking Nocellara olives dancing their way over to the table, paprika smoked almonds soon follow for the Olive Hater amongst us.

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Bite-sized spiced crisps of Cornish crab with plump corn kernels and crunchy toasted hazelnuts are a delight which don't last very long. A bottle of the Reisling Trocken comes up trumps, too. So far, so good; I am digging the Dairy. Slivers of nutty fennel salami and a terracotta bowl of silky chicken liver mousse make up a platter of surprising perfection. And the cheesecloth sack of warm bread, as well as gluten free option, is like a bearhug on a winter’s day. Lest we forget that butter. Move over, olive oil!

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I have since decided that there is always a derivative of the pea dish on The Dairy’s menu because it is simplicity, nailed. There are layers of textures; the crunchy pop of fresh peas as well as delicate mousse and refreshing granita. The hit of cool mint cuts through the tart lemon beautifully. Scallops are seared and served with creamy cauliflower and punchy caramel. The tomatoes from the rooftop garden shine on the salt cod dish with other herbs, probably also plucked a very short while ago.

We take a breather, to order more wine, and bottle of the night goes to the lovely Loire Valley number ‘La Boheme’. The next appearance is something I wouldn’t ordinarily be a raving fan of; Pork belly, but this version with its super crisp skin is a winner.

You can keep the hay ice cream dish which adds little value for me. However, could I please have more of the berry finale? What a lovely smattering of dried and frozen berries on parfait; not too filling, just right. Just when we think it’s all over, the prettiest old school tin of Petits Fours arrive. Top marks for bringing surplus gluten-free options, could you get any better already?! No surprise that my pick is salted caramel brittle. Apparently the apple jelly doughnut is also a knock out, and just with one whiff of it, I can imagine why. So. Moreish.

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Five Very Kerri things about The Dairy

  1. The Butter, OVZ
  2. Hassle-free gluten-free
  3. The tasting menu
  4. The staff who simply can't do enough for you
  5. Petit Fours with a difference