Horto’s menu created by the very talented Head Chef, Murray Wilson. He uses the fresh produce grown in Rudding Park’s kitchen garden by the very skilled Gardener, Adrian Reeve. The Horto dining experience offers a new a la carte menu (£49 for three courses), plus a tasting menu (£59 for seven courses). I was lucky enough to get an invite to the opening but I’m back to experience the full Horto offering.
Hotro is based at Rudding Park’s Gold Academy and driving range on the outskirts of Harrogate but there’s an exciting announcement about it’s future at the bottom of this post.
To start we were brought some sourdough and three different butters – bacon & maple, toasted hay with coffee and Lincolnshire Poacher cheese. The cheese butter was my favourite but they were all pretty damn good.
To drink, I chose their fantastic Tiffany & Co cocktail, my mum had Champagne and my Dad decided to compliment the bread with a Sourdough Wild Beer.
For the following dishes we took it in turns to describe each dish.
MUM: Tomato & mozzarella
What a beautiful way to start a 7 course meal. The title of this delicious dainty little snack doesn’t do it justice but it does provide what is says on the tin and oh….. so much more!
ME: Scallop & elderflower vinegar
This delicate scallop sat proudly on top of an elderflower vinegar gel and decorated with fern leaf and crushed coriander seeds. The whole dish melted on the tongue, I’ve never had raw scallop but it was so fresh and full of flavour – one for the bucket list.
DAD: Yorkshire Venison, chocolate and lavage pollen
“Less is more”, labelled a “snack” this local Yorkshire venison and chive tartar with a chocolate and lovage pollen dressing is two delicious mouthfuls that certainly leave you wanting more.
MUM: Whitby crab
The taste sensation provided by this incredibly colourful, fresh and zingy summer starter was absolutely out of this world. I can honestly say I have never had such a scrumptious dish involving garden peas. The pea sorbet included a fiery horseradish off set by the creamy buttermilk.
DAD: 50 Day aged Yorkshire beef
Set on a bed of slow cooked oxtail that just melted in the mouth, the 50 day aged beef was cooked how it should be, a crispy outside – rare inside, a texture complimented with the tastiest roasted carrot and grilled spring onion all brought together with a warm Wensleydale blue cheese dressing. There are no “main courses” in this tasting experience so this dish was just the right amount to leave room for dessert.
ME: North Sea wild halibut
This meaty white fish worked will with the dehydrated nutty white rice. It’s given added freshness with a charred spring onion and allium leaf. We certainly weren’t going to leave here hungry.
ME: White chocolate
I loved the flavours of this dish. Sitting on a base of smooth white chocolate and vanilla was a perfectly formed oval of coconut, lemongrass and lime sorbet. Decorated with fresh raspberries, blueberries and basil.
I need to say a bit more about this dish as the construction of this very pretty dessert was made, as if by magic, in front of our very eyes. We gathered around the work station that had various little dishes containing the freshest of ingredients ready to start ‘the build’.
Beautifully coloured slivers of pink strawberry and green lemon verbena meringue were placed on top of a piped swirled portion of the softest strawberry cheese cake mix which in turn had been placed on top of a very chocolatey biscuit mix. This was followed by a decoration of strawberries. Then the show stopper ….. white scoops of meringue were ‘plopped’ into liquid nitrogen for a just few seconds to make them ever so crispy on the outside and beautifully fluffy on the inside. Sprinkled with dried strawberry crumbs – what a feast for the eyes and a triumph for the taste buds.
Like many pop ups the restaurant itself could do with a little more styling but I love the corrugated, graffiti wall and the friendly waiting staff make for a lovely atmosphere. I would say the drinks are a little price – you can double the cost of your meal with a two or three drinks each. However it is an experience worth saving for. I love it so was happy to hear Horto is here to stay; not only will they remain open at the Golf Academy until April 2017, the restaurant will then relocate to Rudding Park’s new £9.5m spa development, due to open May 2017. It’s also just been named the best restaurant in Harrogate – fantastic news!
Head chef, Murrey Wilson says,
We’ve only been open four months and we have built up a fantastic following. I am looking forward to continuing to build on this and really excited about the move to the new spa extension in the Spring.
I’m looking forward to hearing more about Horto as it carves it’s way to being the best taste experience in Yorkshire! To book your taste experience visit Horto.
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P.S. Thank you to Horto for the meal and the really cute note…