THERE’S something special about Danesfield House, with its pretty façade and elegance, but it’s not just the aesthetics - it also exudes a warm charm.

It was one of those wild nights - beating rain, a chilly blast, and with coats wrapped tightly around us, we dashed into Danesfield House to escape.

What greeted us was just perfect to warm our cold bones: a beautiful dimly-lit and cosy entrance, with a roaring fire in the main hall, bustling with guests enjoying a winter warmer.

We, on the other hand, were due at the hotel for dinner, and made our way to the comfortable restaurant.

I selected the scallops, mash and sauce vierge. The mash was so creamy and accompanied the juicy scallops very well.

My companion had the marinated Scottish salmon, dressed leaves, dill mustard dressing and quail eggs. She was starving hungry, and soon polished off the plate, saying how fresh, and refreshing, the dish was. There was a good choice of eight mains, and it was hard to choose.

However, I went for my all-time favourite: breast of duck, spinach, dauphinoise potatoes and cherry sauce, and my friend went for the fillet of beef, celeriac, fondant potato, forestiere.

The beef dish was described as ‘velvety’, by my companion, who loved the flavoursome meat. Her only observation was that dauphinoise potato may have been a welcome accompaniment with this.

For me, the duck was heavenly, and matched up to my high expectations. It was also accompanied by a small barrel of meat, which set off the meal. On a personal level, the spinach was a little too salty for my own taste.

The desserts were where it really began for us: We sugar-fiends were on cloud nine as they were something special.

My dining companion is a total foodie, who has been to some of the finest restaurants around, and is also a fabulous cook.

She told me her choice of passion fruit soufflé, coconut sorbet and passion fruit sauce was the best she’d ever had - anywhere. I went for the traditional Bramley apple and date crumble, vanilla ice cream, double cream. The chunky apples and cream were offset by the sweet crumble and I ate the lot in minutes.

A meal is more than just the eating. Danesfield House delivered so much. Aside from the wonderful food, the staff are friendly and attentive, the house is pretty and elegant, and at the end of the experience, we really felt we had enjoyed a special night.

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