Dining in Dorking at Two to Four – Review:
London is full of wonderful places to eat. It takes quite a lot to get me out of town, especially in Winter, when the nights are dark and travel is harder. But, I’ve also got quite a few friends who live around the Dorking area and there’s some great places for blissful country walks. So, an invitation to review Two to Four one of the best restaurants in the area was one not to pass on.
The epitome of Englishness, the restaurant is an old, beamed building just off the main high street in Dorking
Inside the decor is very festive at the moment, with the sort of table settings you find in the December issue of Homes and Garden. It’s warm and very comfortable and everyone is very friendly.
But of course, it’s the food that really matters. The restaurant has a set menu and an a la carte, but at least when we were there everyone was able to chose from either menu for the set menu price.
We started with a really delicious black truffle and fennel veloute. I’m afraid, much as I enjoy the complimentary amuse bouche that restaurants now serve almost as routine, I don’t often remember them. But this was genuinely good.
I went on to enjoy ham hock and foie gras roulade with spice quince chutney. A seasonal dish without being too predictable and bursting with flavour.
My companion’s mackerel with shaved fennel, potato and wholegrain mustard salad came with a creamy dressing. The fish was beautifully fresh and the whole mixture really
So far this was all very good. Now, in a fit of Christmas fever I picked Turkey. Char grilled escalope of Etherley farm turkey with sage, onion and cranberry stuffing, savoy cabbage and duck fat roasted parmentier potatoes. Doesn’t that sound like the sort of Christmas lunch you’d like to be serving up? Well me too, but I forgot that turkey isn’t really my favourite meat. And, if I am honest, the escalope was a little dry, though everything was beautifully presented in a way that I can only fantasize about.
I did have a bad dose of food envy though, when I spotted my companion’s slow cooked blade of beef. It started off as a pretty mound of slow cooked beef topped with mushrooms and served with a bourguignon sauce, mash and roasted root vegetables. But, before I could take a photo, it was demolished, into a meltingly tender heap.
My poached plums in spiced rum syrup with homemade brown bread ice cream was splendid. I am not a great ice cream fan, but this was nicely nutty and creamy. And I’d happily have sipped on the spiced rum syrup all night…
My companion’s Christmas bread pudding looked less appetising to me, but all vanished very quickly. So I can only assume that the taste was as wonderful as the rest of the meal.
Two to Four prides itself on locally sourced seasonal menus. The dishes on offer range from the conventional to experimental. It’s a charming and friendly restaurant where you can enjoy great British food with a twist. The wine list is comprehensive and reasonably priced. I’d defy anyone to not enjoy.
Two to Four