Spotlight On : The Galloping Major, Oddfellows on The Park, Cheadle
Where ingredients are king and flavour is respected
On arriving at Bruntwood Hall, the location of this fabulous gem of a hotel, restaurant and spa, you emerge from the lush greenery of Bruntwood Park, your eyes meeting the golden glow of the beautifully restored Georgian manor house once occupied by landowners and farmers to more recently the local Council's parks and gardens department. Indeed, a fitting place for a restaurant who's mantra is the ingredient is king!
The restaurant, lovingly named, The Galloping Major, occupies the once opulent ballroom of the old manor house, lovings and respectfully restored to its current glory. With an open kitchen and exposed cellar glad in glass, emanates a green glow, what can I say so far, we're suitably impressed, will the food meet the same standards?
Perusing the menu, you can see that the Chef respects local produce, and the season, which is perfect as I'm all about Autumnal ingredients. We pick our options from the very well curated Al la Carte menu, myself starting with the Park Broth and my colleague opts for Tomatoes, you see everything meal on the menu is represented by a particular word, which is a neat idea!
My Park Broth arrived, and for a little bit of theatre, was poured into my bowl at the table, it was a light yet earthy clear broth, packed with a deep umami flavour, speckled with flecks of smoked pepper encompassing three perfectly formed, soft, lightly sautéed cheese, arancini style balls.
My partner picked the tomato starter was gastronomic artwork, full of multicoloured tomatoes, avocado and goat cheese and black olives.
Smokey heritage tomatoes were sweet and textured with sundried tomatoes topped with a slice of dehydrated beef tomato, sat atop a quenelle of soft and creamy avocado, simple, but again packed with levels of flavour.
For my main, I plumped for Duck, and my partner chose Fillet. Arriving swiftly, our mains are presented with just as much artistic flair and love as our starters. My perfectly panfried Goosnargh Duck breast was served on a bed of wilted sweet, green hispi or sweetheart cabbage and accompanied by a light but oh so tasty potatoe terrine and a sharp blueberry jus which complemented and balanced the rich duck meat perfectly.
My partners 7oz Fillet Steak arrived, chargrilled and surrounded by seasonal vegetables consisting of cabbage, heritage carrots and my starch was triple cooked chips, no skinny fries here! The steak was cooked to perfection, slightly charred on the outside and pink and juicy in the middle, total respect to chef Ross, who respects a well-rested piece of meat. My chips were fluffy on the inside which mopped up my peppercorn sauce perfectly.
We were both reasonably full by this point so decided to share a dessert and plumped for a classic Eton Mess, which was accompanied by fresh strawberries and vanilla ice cream. When it arrived we were surprised to see a different take on the presentation of this classic dessert, a more, shall we say deconstructed Eton Mess. But wow, it was the perfect light ending to our meal, two types of meringue, one soft and the other crunchy were scattered by fresh and freeze-dried strawberries one providing juice and the other packing super strawberry flavour. A few drops of sweet strawberry syrup melded with the ice cream and together made a winning dessert in my book.
All in all this meal has proved that the food Oddfellows serves is lovingly prepared and respected produce, no thick gloopy sauces overcooked veg or piled high plates of meat and starch. The Galloping Major is a real gastronomic gem and deserves to be visited and experienced, whether staying in the hotel or just a passing walk in, try it, you won't be disappointed!