Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Cerise Restaurant and Bar at The Forbury Hotel in Reading

Isn't it funny how sometimes the nicest restaurants are really close to home? One night just before Christmas my husband and I dined at Cerise in The Forbury Hotel in Reading. The Forbury has recently been refurbished and it is such a beautiful place. Cerise is its flagship restaurant, of which it is justifiably proud.

We were shown to a table in the bar area when we arrived and presented with our menus. The drinks menu itself was incredibly varied, and I chose a Ginger Mojito. I'm a terrific fan of the original Mojito, but this was really special, and very seasonal with the fresh ginger flavour. My husband opted for vodka and coke, and was offered a choice of six different kinds of vodka, deciding finally on Grey Goose, one of his favourites.

We were really impressed by the variety on the menu, and also by the knowledge of the server who came over to discuss it with us well before the time came to place our order. She knew the menu inside out and offered detailed information about every item we queried. The wine list was also very good, and we selected lovely mid-priced bottle of Sauvignon Blanc which was to complement our meals beautifully.

When our starters were ready we were shown to a table for two. My husband had chosen the Game Mosaic which was a beautiful terrine including venison, duck and pheasant. My choice of tomato soup may have sounded pedestrian, but it was anything but. Fresh produce and an excellent balance of flavours made it one of the nicest soups I have ever eaten.

We both chose the Baked Sea Bream for our main course and it was beautifully prepared. Cooked to perfection, it was expertly filleted without a single bone left behind. We had a side dish of vibrantly coloured buttered green beans which was perfect with the fish.

There was a varied choice of desserts, and when they arrived, they were quite simply stunning. They also tasted as good as they looked. My Hazlenut Chocolate Torte was rich and delicious without being overpowering. It was served with a fresh berry compote and cream.

The Apple Tart Tatin my husband ordered was wonderful. It did not look like a traditional tarte tatin, but it was artfully presented and tasted light and delicious with just a hint of caramel. The ice cream was flavoured with Calvados and cinnamon - thank goodness my husband is good at sharing!

We had our coffee at the table, along with some delicious petit fours. It was a lovely evening - a delicious meal in an excellent atmosphere. Although the restaurant was practically full, the staff were attentive and seated us at a table that gave us a lovely sense of privacy whilst still feeling a part of things. If you find yourself in our neck of the woods, I highly recommend a visit to Cerise at The Forbury Hotel - and if home is a long way off, do consider staying at The Forbury. It's stunning.

Cerise Restaurant and Bar
at The Forbury Hotel
26 The Forbury

For reservations call 0800 789 789 from the UK or click here

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