Swinton Park, what a dream place for mushroom and food lovers! We drove to Masham early in the morning through a thick fog but arrived in Swinton to discover the hotel bathed in sun, looking rather like a fairy tale castle. We setoff around 10am to go mushroom hunting in the parkland and woods. As soon as we reached the beginning of the path, Rose spotted some amazing parasol mushrooms and next to them were some Wood Blewits. What a very promising start!
We were only a small group which allowed us to give plenty of identification information to our guests, even Johnny, John’s cooking assistant joined us. We wandered for 3 hours in the woods and came back with a basket full of mushrooms (Deceivers, parasols mushrooms, Wood Blewit, Honey Fungus, puff balls…).
Back to the Cookery School, John welcomed us with a lovely selection of canapés. We then started the 7 courses menu (yes seven!) with a Wild Mushroom Consommé with Rocket and Chive.
Then we enjoyed a delicious Salmon accompanied with Fennel Purée, Charred Leek and a refined Sauce Vierge.
We watched John cooking and it seemed so easy and simple, within few minutes we received our next dish: Yellison Farm Goats Cheese with Garden Beets with Apple, Watercress and Shallot.
And then, it was time for the main dish: Halibut, Herbs, Cep, Garlic and Almond; what a treat!
It is hard to finish a meal without a dessert and as John has quite a sweet tooth we had three, all completely different but superbly balanced. Orange, polenta Cake, Panna Cotta, Lime and Crème Fraîche.
Banoffee, Granola, Chestnut, Caramel Mousse
Chocolate, Salted Parfait, Soil, Pears and Brambles.
I think we all agreed that it was one of the best lunches ever, good company and scrumptious food! Thank you so much John for spoiling us!