It’s a good sign when you finish a Christmas dinner feeling as stuffed as the turkey you’ve just devoured and that’s exactly what you get at the Hilton’s Doubletree restaurant this festive season.
Forget mince pies and mulled wine, the make-or-break moment of a good yuletide is a tiptop Christmas dinner and, if you don’t have some beleaguered relative slaving over five different ovens and steaming up the kitchen, it’s good to know you can experience the real deal, trimmings and all, in Manchester’s number one hotel.
Located just a stone’s throw from Manchester’s Piccadilly Station, the Christmas dinner sat under the dimmed lights of Doubletree’s restaurant lacking the warmth of a family roast, yet makes up for it with festive finesse.
First up their caramelised onion and feta tart, served with rocket and a balsamic vinegar dressing is available as a dainty starter and provides a crisp, pastry pleasure.
Also available is their butternut squash valoute. Served with a splodge of salty pesto in its centre this warm, earthy starter was served with a delicately sized hot bread bun,perfect fodder on a windswept winter’s day.
There was also a tantalising selection of cheesy, paprika, olive, wholemeal or sundried tomato breads on offer.
Moving swiftly onto the main course, a generous platter of moist turkey breast and unctuous apricot and sage stuffing awaits.
Accompanied by crunchy roast potatoes, cooked to perfection in duck fat, as well as parsnips, carrots and sprouts; it’s testament to the chef that the vegetables don’t feel like an afterthought.
However, even though we are in Lancashire, most die-hard Christmas dinner officiandos will be flummoxed by the omission of a Yorkshire pud.
An incredibly large portion of chutney, placed in what can only be described as a bowl rather than the modest dish you’d expect, goes some way to making up for this.
As does the addition of a cheeky yet very refined pig in a blanket, which tops the pleasingly-laden plate.
In fact such splendour makes the vegetarian offering of an artichoke and parsnip bake, served in rather meagre looking ramekin, look a little sad in comparison. The fluffy peaks of soft mash, albeit delicious, hardly compare with this meat feast.
Better things are around the corner however; the cherry Bakewell tart for dessert is a delight. The frangipane is light and lacks the claggy texture that can ruin this classic English pudding.
Paired with smooth vanilla ice-cream and splash of raspberry gel, prettily scribbled across the plate, this neat, sophisticated dessert provides a satisfying end to proceedings.
For the traditionalists among you their dense and rich Christmas pudding will be equally pleasing. The brandy sauce has a subtle alcoholic undertone rather than the boozy blast that your grandma may slosh into her own recipe.
However that, along with a topping of berries which cut elegantly through this scrumptious pudding, sums up the difference between your rough-and-tumble, homemade Christmas affair and a premium dining experience.
That said, you’d be hard pushed not be have a satisfied holiday bloat by the end of three courses.
Most people will be extremely thankful that the mince pie, which accompanies their salutary coffee at the end of the meal, is a dainty one.
Doubletree by the Hilton started their Christmas season on November 25, with all manner of Christmas inspired menus on offer.
For more information on bookings contact 0161 242 1020 or email [email protected]
Image courtesy of David Lindsay via Flickr, with thanks.