Restaurant review: Backwell House

Scallops with burnt apple and parselene

Scallops with burnt apple and parselene - Credit: sub

Charlotte Skidmore tries out a recently converted manor house that is now a hotel and restaurant

I knew Backwell House existed - in fact it’s been standing in substantial grounds in North Somerset for 200 years. But only recently has it turned into a hotel with a restaurant, meeting rooms and events.

So having never ventured through the big iron gates, this was a new discovery for me, only about 20 minutes from my home.

The first impression of Backwell House is of grandeur with its big pillars and long lawns, where you can imagine generations of families playing croquet and enjoying the countryside views.

After a short wait in the lounge we were escorted to our room, complete with slipper bath, king size bed and flat screen television. The decor is very nice, ‘eclectic’ is the term I think I would use, with the house’s history reflected through several decades with trinkets and features.

When we went down for dinner, I have to say that the stand out feature for me was the bar - I described it as the ‘bar of my dreams’ on social media and boy was it that and more. Not only was it a thing of beauty, it stocked just about every spirit you could imagine.

The dinner menu wasn’t huge but was varied. For me, as it was winter and chilly outside, it would have been nice to have had some nice warming soups and at least one hot dessert, but we won’t hold that against them.

To start I opted for scallops with burnt apple and parselene and my partner had the duck liver parfait with blackberries, which he said was really good and tasty with a good mix of sweet and savoury.

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My scallops were very well cooked and had plenty of flavour - but just a little easier on the salt for me next time please.

My first choice of main was unavailable so we both opted for the Cornish brill with potato terrine, Indian spices and fennel yoghurt. I got over my disappointment of the ox cheek and steak being unavailable pretty quickly as the brill was delicious; meaty yet falling apart in your mouth, flavoursome yet not overpowering and making a very clever use of the Indian spices.

I couldn’t manage a dessert but my partner had the hazelnut pannacotta and said it was perfectly set with just the right amount of nutty flavour going through it.

I was very happy with my meal and the wine list to accompany the food is extensive.

I would like to see some Somerset produce on the menu as the hotel is in North Somerset, but hopefully that will come with time.

It’s a really nice overall experience at Backwell House and I think with a few minor tweaks it could be excellent. Watch this space

Visit the Backwell House website here.