Bouchon Bistrot, Hexham

I was first lucky enough to go to the Bouchon Bistrot a few years ago, and made my first return visit recently. It was recommended to our family as we all love french food, and it certainly didn’t disappoint! One of the things that I really love about Bouchon Bistrot is that it proves that you don’t need to be living in a city to have access to the best restaurants. Hexham is a small market town, and (like we did) it would be very easy to visit the town for years without knowing of the existence of the bistrot. Despite this, it was very busy when we visited and it is always best to book in advance.

We collectively opted not to have starters (pudding will always win!) but were still provided with some small fresh baked bread rolls to eat before our main courses arrived. Despite being tempted by several items on the menu, I decided to go for the Crispy Duck Confit with Gratin Dauphinois, French Beans & Bacon (pictured below). This was partnered with Pinot Noir (Les Templiers, France, 2010) to drink which went very well. Being an authentic french restaurant there is a very extensive wine list to choose from! I thoroughly enjoyed my main course which was very tasty and perfectly cooked.

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Following on from my main course, I decided to opt for another personal favourite on the dessert menu; Fondant au Chocolat with Griottines (pictured below). This was the only part of the meal that I was slightly disappointed by, and this was only because I expected such a high standard of food at the restaurant. For me, the fondant was slightly overcooked, meaning it was a darker shade on the outside than I had expected and more mousse-like than melting within. It was still a delicious rich chocolate pudding, but having had it in the same restaurant previously I had been hoping it would be the same. If you are not a fan of chocolate pudding (apparently such people do exist), there is plenty of other choice. The Armagnac & Prune Clafoutis with Walnut Ice Cream came highly recommended by my dad; someone who doesn’t even like prunes!

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Overall it was a great evening with excellent company, and good food and service. Hopefully it won’t be too long until my next visit, where I may decide to try something new (but will most likely stick to my old favourites!).

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