We were recently invited to sample dinner and a night’s stay at new hotel & restaurant The Ginger Peanut in Bampton. Read on to find out our thoughts:
Where is it?
The Ginger Peanut, 19 Fore Street, Bampton
Devon, EX16 9ND
What is it?
The Ginger Peanut describes itself as ‘a restaurant & bar with rooms’ and prides itself on offering fine locally sourced food, prepared with love and skill. Dinner is served in a relaxed and atmospheric restaurant environment and guests have the option to stay the night in one of their 5 boutique bedrooms. The hotel & restaurant only recently opened its doors on the 23rd of November 2017 with Chef Peter Mundy heading up the kitchens.
Who to go with?
This small hotel is ideal for couples of all ages who appreciate good food and stylish decor. Each of the 5 rooms provide a cosy retreat for those looking to explore nearby Exmoor; while the restaurant offers a mix of fine dining and classic dishes, allowing it to appeal to a broad spectrum of foodies.
During our visit we stayed in ‘Hare’, a deluxe double room with an en-suite bathroom that was decorated in a soft colour palette of greys and was finished off with some fabulous emerald & pink cushions. As well as a plus double bed, the room contained some unique furniture that really added character to the room – such as a plush vintage style leather armchair and a full length mirror. Likewise, the room offered a large bottle of complementary water together with a Kilner jar of handmade fudge for guests to enjoy.
The only downside to the bedroom was that there were no hot drink making facilities within the room. In order to make yourself a brew, you have to step outside the room and into the corridor, where you’ll find a well stocked pantry at your disposal. The pantry offers complimentary coffees and teas along with fresh milk, crisps and sweets. Furthermore, when you head downstairs there is a small lounge area for hotel guests to relax in.
Atmosphere & Service
Our first impression of the restaurant was that it was tastefully decorated and had a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. The decor could only be described as ‘contemporary country’ and we liked the mix of comfortable bucket style chairs and traditional straight backed seats. Mirrored wall sconces and twinkling wine glasses caught the evening light, giving the restaurant a wonderful warm sparkle and we felt that each of the tables were well spaced in order to provide guests with enough privacy to enjoy their dinner conversation.
Throughout our meal (and indeed our stay) we received lovely and warm service. Prior to dinner, we briefly met with Chef Peter, who is extremely passionate about his trade and clearly focussed on providing the best quality food and service for his diners.
Peter Mundy has over 20 years’ experience as a professional chef, having trained in classic French cuisine under renowned chef Paul Groom. At the Ginger Peanut, you’ll find him combining both classic French and English cuisine with his own unique twist – utilising local fresh fare wherever possible and regularly changing his menus to reflect the seasons.
During our visit we opted for a three course meal from the a la carte menu and between us we chose:
Beetroot, Candid Walnuts, Blue cheese mouse and Balsamic dressing.
This was a nicely presented dish with a lovely selection of beetroot prepared two ways. From thinly sliced & pickled, to soft & sweet balsamic pieces. The light blue cheese mousse was subtle and not at all overpowering and served alongside the beetroot and teeny pieces of candid walnuts, this made for a fabulous plate of food.
Ham Hock Ballantine
Sweet Pickled Carrots Welsh rarebit Toasts and a Curried Dressing.
Our other starter was a hearty portion of ham hock. The meat was rich and chunky with tasty cubes of vegetables contained within. The sweet carrots were really delicious when eaten on their own but delightful when combined with the tang of the cheese rarebit and the curry sauce dressing.
Rump of Lamb Brazed Shoulder
Celeriac Purée Root Vegetables Gratin and a Cumin Jus.
For one of our mains we enjoyed a perfectly cooked rump of lamb. Not only did the meat cut like butter and melt in the mouth, but the braised shoulder was full of deep flavour. The vegetable gratin was cooked beautifully and the sweet pickled carrots were a lovely twist on your usual vegetable side, nicely cutting through the richness of the lamb.
Catch of the Day
Skate Wing and Cheese Risotto.
Throwing caution to the wind, I opted for the ‘catch of the day’ which came served on a bed of risotto. As a rule, I never chose risotto. But this dish was lovely and creamy and the cheese tang worked surprisingly well. The vegetables contained the perfect amount of bite and delicately flavoured Skate wing was well cooked. Overall, an unusual but lovely dish.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Butterscotch Sauce and Ice Cream.
If you’re a pudding lover then you won’t be disappointed by this dish. I received two generous slices of rich sticky toffee deliciousness that were presented in a pool of butterscotch sauce alongside a dollop of Devonshire ice-cream. This was a truly decadent dessert which made for an excellent finish to my meal.
Meanwhile, my partner opted for the cheese board, which contained a generous selection of cheese alongside wafer biscuits, pickled walnuts, celery, grapes, tomatoes and chutney. We did feel that the tomatoes were surplus to requirement, but overall this was a nice variety and another lovely way to end a wonderful evening meal.
Bed & Breakfast
After a very comfortable nights sleep, we ventured downstairs for breakfast in the dining room, where we enjoyed a selection of juice and cereals, as well as a tasty Full English breakfast that set us up for the day. During the day, the dining room is transformed from a cosy intimate setting to a light and airy space, which I imagine would be ideal for a spot of lunch.
We had a fabulous stay at The Ginger Peanut. The hotel and restaurant offers a little bit of laid back luxury for visitors and diners alike and we have no doubt that it will prove to be popular for years to come. We’re big fans of the dining room aesthetic and we really appreciated Peter Mundy’s unique approach to his menu. The quality of Peter’s ingredients is undeniable and we can’t wait to hear more about the new menu, which will be gracing plates shortly.
Overall, this is a comfortable and tastefully decorated hotel, which provides a taste of luxury without breaking the bank. We recommend The Ginger Peanut to anyone looking for a stylish base from which they can explore nearby Exmoor or simply enjoy a short staycation.
*We have not received payment for this review and all views are our own.