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Christmas Festivities weekend with friends

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Our festive weekend started on Friday evening with our neighbours all gathering at the very festive  looking Bearslake Inn, for an evening of good food and wine.  Christine, at the Bearslake had been an absolute star at fitting us in and actually giving us our own private area.

Bearslake Inn Christmas 2015

On entering the pub it was like walking into a very festive grotto - it was so pretty.  I could see the team had been very busy with the decorations.

Bar at the Bearslake Inn

We ordered our aperitifs and then took our places at the table, again which looked very festive.  At this point I do just want to mention that I did ask our other 7 guests to remind me to take pictures of the food at the start of each course (you will see why this is important later!)

The starters were soon served.  The beneift of having a slightly larger group is that we had a selection of all the starters - so pictures are below to whet your appetite

Bearslake Inn Smoked and poached salmon

The smoked and poached salmon panna cotta with dill yoghurt was enjoyed by Mark and Jan.  Mark commented that it was a very light starter.

Bearslake Inn sweet potato, carrot and coriander soup

Julian and I had opted for the sweet potato carrot and coriander soup withe creme fraiche - which was absolutely delicious.

Bearslake Inn Chicken liver and port wine pate

The rest of the group had chosen the chicken liver and port wine pate with beetroot and red cabbage slaw and oat cakes, again which got the thumbs up.

Next on to the main event ....  The group was pretty much split between the Roast Turkey and Roast Devon Beef.

Roast Devon Turkey at the Bearslake Inn

The above picture shows the roast Devon turkey with sage and onion stuffing, bread sauce, roast potatoes, brussel sprouts with pancetta and chestnuts, roasted root vegetables and gravy from the roasting juices.  I had the turkey and it was so tender it just melted in the mouth.

I am not going to name names at this point but unfortunately I can't show you a picture of the beef as it was out of focus, it amy have been something to do with the wine that had been drunk up to this point!!!  Although I can't show you a picture I can tell you it was scrummy!

Remember earlier when I mentioned about being reminded to take photos - now this is where when the desserts came out, they looked so good everyone dived in straight away before I had chance to take pictures.  As you can see by the plate below they were thoroughly enjoyed.  I did say to Christine that I had forgotten to take a picture, she liked my ploy to try to get another pudding (it didn't work though)!  I had the very delicious Rum 'n' raisin dark chocolate brulee with white chocolate and cranberry biscotti

 Puddings at the Bearslake Inn

The Christmas Celebration Menu was £19.50 per person for three courses.

Another day dawned and another gathering to look forward to.  On the Saturday evening we were meeting friends at Taylors in Tavistock.  We did better this time and have photos of all the courses!!

I had worked up an appetite during the day doing all the last minute Christmas preparations and wrapping the presents so I was very much looking forward to my feast at Taylors and catching up with Richard and Emma.

The restaurant was busy when we arrived, Richard and Julian were definitely outnumbered by the amount of women in the restuarant - so they were happy!

After choosing a nice bottle of NZ Sauvignon Blanc the starters came out.

This is the Ham hock terrine, spiced apple compote and tasted as good as it looks.

Soup at Taylors of Tavistock

A slightly different twist on sweet potato soup this was with red pepper and chilli coconut and was lovely.

Roast Turkey at Taylors of Tavistock

Now I am one of those people that can't get enough Turkey over Christmas, so I again opted for the roasted Devon farm turkey, pigs in blankets, chestnut and apricot seasoning served with duck fat roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables.  Scrumptious!

Blade of Beef Taylors Tavistock

Richard was the only one out of our group to opt for something other than Turkey.  He chose the slow cooked blade of beef, braised red cabbage and port jus.  He was very pleased he did, it just fell apart it was so tender.

Christmas Pudding at Taylors Tavistock

Julian, ever the traditional, chose the Christmas pudding with brandy Anglais for dessert.  He said it was very nice but not as good as mine, right answer!

Warm chocolate brownie Taylors Tavistock

I enjoyed the warm chocolate brownie with white chocolate sauce, I mean what's not to like, it's chocolate!

Cheeseboard - Taylors Tavistock

Richard worked his way through the selection of local cheeses with homemade chutney.

The Christmas Party Menu at Taylors was £25 per person for three courses.

We all had a great time celebrating the festive period with our friends and we now wish you all a VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS



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