HYGGE DINING AT THE KNIGHT & GARTER, LEICESTER
The Knight & Garter is one of my favourite brunching, lunching, dining, cocktail swilling, hot drinking comforting haunts in Leicester. In fact it was the first place in my home city of Leicester, that I made my foodie blog debut with introducing brunch at the brand new Knight & Garter.
After numerous visits over the 18 months that its been open and building a great relationship with the owner Sam Hagger and his fabulous team, I felt it was high time I returned to review again and with a date night in the diary, I had the perfect excuse (well, not that I need one usually!!).
One cold, rainy Monday evening Dr C and I arrived at The Knight & Garter to be met by the most cosiest atmosphere, low lighting, pretty orchids, dark hues from the wood finished interior and a wood burner effect fireplace. The only word that comes to mind to truly describe this warm feeling would be Hygge.
Noun. Pronounced: ‘Hue Guh’
Origin: Danish from Norwegian
Definition: ‘A quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being (regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture)’
We started our evening with a round of cocktails to take the edge off and well, all date nights start or end with a cocktail for us! I very attentively ordered my favourite, an Espresso Martini and Dr C tried one of the specials named, The Nutcracker. It was a pretty elegant beauty when it arrived and was made by combining Brandy and Port with a dash of Monin hazelnut syrup and topped with frothy egg white dressed with a sprig of fresh mint.
With cocktails in hand and Hygge mood fully embraced we sipped on our delicious cocktails as chat turned to corporate activities of the day in our respective day jobs!
Cocktails savoured, we made our way through the book lined wall door and into one of the snug booths.
The current menu is ideal for this time of year and suited the Hygge theme perfectly, with hearty warming dishes smothered comfort infused memories, yet simultaneously presented in a refined style.
DINING ON FINE HEARTY FARE
After perusing the wine list we both went for our absolute favourite the Melodias Malbec, Trapiche. A wine from the Argentinian region of Mendoza, which lies close to the Andes mountain range. The wine was full bodied, with definite rich tones of blackcurrant, providing a rich and full bodied flavour.
We started our three course meal with the Burrata Mozzarella for me and a London Particular for Dr C.
The gooey soft centre of this classic Burrata Mozzarella was served on garlic rubbed toast topped with peperonata. The light yet delicate flavour married perfectly with the toast base.
The London Particular is a hearty split pea soup, topped with smoked ham hock and a poached egg. So you see what I mean about Winter Hygge feels?
Moving onto the main event, for me as it was the start of Italian food week, I ordered from the Chefs classics portion of the menu, the Pesto Rigatoni, which had perfectly cooked al dente pasta, peperonata, shallots, Paris brown mushrooms, wild rocket and just the right helping of hard cheese crumb.
Dr C ordered from the char grill menu, the French trimmed lamb cutlets, which sat on a creamy bed of garlic mash, chimichurri and peas à la française. Dr C didn’t say much whilst devouring this, so I guess that means he loved it! So in his standards that means perfection!
Before moving onto the desserts (yes we still had room for that course, which obviously lands in a separate portion of the stomach, which empties post mains!!) the barman bought over a new cocktail for us to sample and then revealed he was leaving it to me to name to feature as cocktail of the week!
The pretty elegant, modern refined cocktail contained Thatchers apple cider, which had been reduced with a touch of brown sugar, combined with rhubarb gin with a dash of lemon. It was then topped with frothy egg white and garnished with beautiful deep red, micro-herb, amaranth.
Can you guess what I named it…in keeping with the whole Hygge theme and the inspiration for the post, I called it The Apple Cider Hygge.
Our dessert choices were no brainers really, Dr C had the Key Lime Pie accompanied by citrus cream.
I opted for The Knight & Garter Eton Mess, consisting of a raspberry and white chocolate meringue encasing vanilla gelato and mini marshmallows. Both as delicious as expected and maybe finally, I could be developing a palette for gelato!!
SEASONAL HOT DRINKS
After the most warmingly delicious of all date nights, it was time for carriages; well it was a school night after all! But whilst I’m talking hygge, I have to give The Knight & Garters seasonal drinks a mention. I’d thoroughly recommend popping in for one of the selection of offer. I’ve personally tried the following options, Black Forest gateaux hot chocolate, the apple and cinnamon latte and the honeycomb latte.
The bonus is all hot drinks at the Knight & Garter are served with a macaron, which in my opinion sets the bar pretty high!
The Knight & Garter
14 Hotel Street
Tel: 0116 303 3310
Take a look at the Knight & Garter’s current menu options on their website
So is this your kind of Hygge date night? Let me know in the comments below please!
Disclaimer: Our meal was discounted, however all opinions, views and photography are my own and therefore remain a copyright of be-lavie. I have visited The Knight & Garter many times as a paying customer and recommend it as a personal favourite in terms of dining, inventive and classic cocktail blends and excellent service.