Incredible food, incredible view: brand new taster menu at 1919 Restaurant, Malvern

The Cottage in the Wood Hotel with its impressive 1919 Restaurant, Lounge Bar & Terrace is located on the slopes of the imposing Malvern Hills, peeking out from its nestled position in the trees.

The 1919 Restaurant has recently been awarded 3-AA Rosettes at the AA Hospitality Awards, so we were extra excited to see what all the fuss was about with their brand new seven-course Autumn Taster Menu, masterminded by Head Chef Rob Mason.

The vista didn’t disappoint as we walked up the gravel drive to the front door: sweeping sunlit views from the highest point for miles around. We couldn’t wait to begin our tasting experience while we looked out over the Worcestershire fields, complete with hanging hot air balloons and a slow sunset.

Shown to our seats and eagerly awaiting the first course, we were treated to the chef’s ‘snacks’. These fun little bursts of flavour were a great start to the meal – a cheese custard paired with a slip of cod roe on top of crackers. A great way to get the mouth watering!

But nothing could top the bread as a starting point – home-baked, warm and fluffy, swallowing up lashings of ampersand butter. We could have happily filled up on that course alone.

Bread finished all too quickly, we moved onto the scallop course. Orkney scallops cooked to creamy perfection, with truffle oil and salty notes from the chicken complementing perfectly. Bursts from the grilled sweetcorn were a surprising but welcome addition, adding a sweetness that was strong but not overpowering.

Next up, we were served duck terrine, which was my favourite savoury dish of the evening, purely because of the outstanding pairing with the best blackberries we’ve ever tasted – a deep and unctuous flavour that you can only usually find synthetically in sweets or syrups. It really shouted autumn and made you smile.

The pollock was the most intriguing dish of the night

Pollock was a real change of tempo for the menu, looking to challenge the palette as much as please it. The vermouth in the sauce was an intriguing addition, and the Cornish mussels a real highlight. While perhaps not our favourite dish, it was the one that got us talking the most, and one I’d love to go back to taste again.

The Beef and then the Cheese courses were equally well crafted, and at this point we were well into our stride, really enjoying ourselves in our comfortable surroundings and getting on well with the friendly service team.

The sweets kicked off with the Pineapple course, combining a rich pineapple upside down cake with raw pineapple, puree and a silky ice cream. We had a sneak peek at the quality to come in the desserts from the cheese and potato tart that substituted the beef for the vegetarians, but hats off to the pastry chef at 1919 who has really outdone themselves with this menu.

The Chocolate course was an exceptional way to end: delight after chocolatey delight, with mousse, cake, ice cream and pecans combining into a happy mess on the plate. The only challenge was being able to finish the rich dish after so much great food (we succeeded with aplomb!)

The Chocolate course was a glorious mess of delicious bits and pieces

Overall, the Autumn Taster Menu at 1919 is a real gem, at a relatively affordable price for a special evening out at £75pp. Almost every course hits the mark, and the strong finish with such sumptuous desserts can’t fail but leave a sweet aftertaste. And if seven-course tasters aren’t your thing, all the courses are also available on their standard a la carte menu, making it a really attractive option.

We highly recommend giving 1919 a try for a really special evening!

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