Few things in life make me as happy as eating exquisite food, drinking beautiful wine and spending time with people I rather like. So a trip to a new restaurant is always a winner in my books, which is why despite being in the midst of the most hectic weeks I’ve had in a long time, I headed over to York, dressed to the nines and indulged in an evening of gastronomic delights.
Hudson’s is nestled within the walls of the stunning Grand York Hotel, which was once the iconic former headquarters of the North Eastern Railway Company. With the first train leaving the city in 1839, York was an early adopter of the railway. Hudson, a local man, was instrumental in its success, ensuring that the plans of George Stephenson, whose new railway from London to Newcastle was to bypass York, were changed.
So to the food, created by Craig Atchinson, who has a passion for game, foraging and gardening, he’s is a perfect fit for the rural county where he can source all his ingredients locally. Local grouse, rabbit, fish and wild edible ingredients all feature on the restaurant’s menu.
We started the evening with a couple of G&T’s in the adjoining bar, accompanied by lots of chatting and catching up. Soon though it was time to get to business, and begin our tasting adventure…
We started with pressed apple & dill on a squid ink cracker, two tiny bites of heaven! The only quirk of the evening I wasn’t sold on was the large pebble it was served on, however that didn’t take away from the delicate yet flavour-filled amuse bouche.
Next up was the most theatrical of the courses, a Cryogenic Mojito, served simply and doused in dry ice to freeze the shards of brown sugar and mint leaves in preperation of us to grind them together in the pestle and mortar, before adding the beautiful sorbet to it, which brought to life the flavours of a mojito.
It was fantastic to be able to get involved in the creation of our meal and most certainly added to the enjoyment of the evening!
This was swiftly followed by a wooden tray filled with beautiful artisan breads and a new experience for me, beef butter, the most moorish topping to warm sourdough. I must admit, I’m a sucker at the best of times for a bread basket, but this was something special and despite knowing it would fill us up, we scoffed the lot.
I’ve always turned my nose up somewhat at solely vegetarian meals, however this cacophony of vegetables was so beautiful I could have eaten in many times over! Made up of preserved roots, woodland mushrooms nestled on a bed of Goat’s crabley. It was a tiny plate of perfection.
The best thing, in my opinion, about tasting menus is the simple fact it gives diners the chance to try dishes that they would other wise avoid. This course was that course for me, I would never choose ox tongue, however this had been slow cooked for two days and was matched with tart heritage tomatoes and a creamy cream cheese along with a jus that for the life of me I cannot remember the name of, but what I can remember is the mumbling yummy sounds throughout the course.
Just as I was thinking to myself that maybe it would be nice to have a slightly more substantial course, the North Atlantic Stone Bass appeared.
I have to take this opportunity to rave about the table ware at Hudson’s, it was quite honestly swoon-worthy, quirky and matched perfectly to the colour palette of the menu. These kind of little touches just added to the joy and entertainment of the evening.
The Stone Bass was paired with fennel, coastal herbs, buckwheat and a seafood bisque, again another course I would have loved to have eaten all over again, and must admit when I next eat at Hudon’s I really hope to see something similar on the menu.
The final savoury course simply had to be beef, to me no menu is right without a perfectly cooked steak. The 90 Day Salt Aged Beef Sirloin was coupled with carrot cooked in wagyu fat, wood blewits and grains.
I always think of myself as a classic steak and chips kind of girl, and then a plate like this arrives in front of me and I cannot imagine eating steak any other way. Cooked rare with a touch of medium, perfectly buttery to cut into and the blend of flavours that surrounded it only added to the deep, rich steak experience.
The first of the two desserts was meadowsheet ice cream, I don’t know about you, but I had never heard of meadowsheet and was very grateful for the highly knowledgable waiting staff who informed me it was a herb that is found from time to time in beer and has an almond like flavour.
This taste sensation ice cream was surrounded by Oakchurch raspberry, honeycomb and oxalis the largest genus in the wood-sorrel family don’t you know!
The finale to our outstanding meal was this simply beautiful dessert, a selection of strawberry and elderflower, with meringues, set creams, sorbet and jelly.
It was the most stunning meal, and both Nick and I raved about it throughout and I’ve gone on to rave about it ever since to pretty much anyone who’ll listen.
The tasting menu at Hudson’s, priced at £65 per person and is available 7 days a week, if you are heading to York soon I can highly recommend it! There is also a paired wine option too!
Huge thank you to Hudson’s for inviting Nick and myself along to indulge in the tasting menu, and although the bill was picked up by Hudson’s all the opinions are most certainly my own.