*We were kindly invited along to sample the Seven Stars Valentines themed evening with Chef Mike Walsh*
Review by Collette
A fabulous warm welcome awaited us as we walked into the Seven Stars in Kennford. The Devon pub was buzzing with activity, with people of all ages dining and enjoying drinks. Something about the varied crowd suggested to me that the Seven Stars has successfully drawn a loyal crowd of locals and I was reassured to see that everyone appeared to be having a great time. This instantly made us feel at home and drinks in hand we made our way to our table to settle down and enjoy the evening ahead.
Chef Mike Welsh was leading the kitchen team on the night of our visit. Mike usually cooks and oversees the food at the Seven Stars every Tuesday; running a successful catering company the rest of the working week (providing everything from hog roasts to fine dining weddings events). But each month, Mike and the Seven Stars team host special themed evenings for diners to look forward to. This often involves decking out the pub to match the specific theme and in the case of our Valentines Evening the tables were set with red candles, roses, heart confetti and our very own personalised menu. There was even live music in the form of local singer and acoustic guitarist Steve Waters.
The evening meal kicked off with an amuse bouchee. This was a shot glass of garlicky mushroom soup, which was very enjoyable and just enough to whet the appetite.
Crisp Lamb Cesar Salad
Next up was a unique twist on a classic Cesar Salad. To be honest we were a tad unsure about this dish. Cubes of lamb were served with anchovies, gem lettuce, Cesar dressing, cheese shavings & croutons. The lamb was very nicely cooked but the rest of the dish was pretty basic and somewhat unmemorable.
Cured Salmon & Crab Scotch Egg, Caviar, Spiced Bisque
This dish was essentially two dishes in one. Our salmon & crab scotch egg was a great twist on the conventional. It was coated in a light bread and the egg yolk in the middle was perfectly soft. I would happily have eaten this on its own with just a side salad. Likewise, the bisque was flavoursome and would have been perfect as a soup if served in a larger portion. Overall, we felt that these two components didn’t necessarily have to be eaten together, but both were delicious nonetheless!
Venison, Celeriac Dauphinoise, Buttery Greens, Ribbons of Root Vegetable
I really enjoyed this venison dish. It was well-seasoned and very nicely cooked. The celeriac dauphinoise were creamy and delicious, while the jus was rich and flavoursome. I polished off my plate very easily and I would happy order it again.
Raspberries & Chocolate
I thought that dessert for the evening was beautifully presented (ignore my slightly melted photo). The contrast of the red raspberries on the black slate was very fitting for a valentine’s dinner. Everything about this plate of food was nicely balanced. The raspberry sorbet was sweet and not too tangy, while the chocolate elements contained just the right amount of sweetness. Overall, this was lovely way to end an enjoyable evening.
I really like the concept of a themed evening once a month and if you’re looking for a night out that offers something a little bit different, I would recommend The Seven Stars. Not only do they offer great pub food with a twist but the atmosphere is warm and the friendly staff & lovely locals ensure that it’s a great place to relax and enjoy yourself.
Next month, the Seven Stars and Chef Mike will be hosting a special St Patrick’s Day evening and more information can be found at: www.sevenstarskennford.co.uk