The great reputation of Gressingham duck, from a British company renowned for prioritising the welfare of its birds, guides my next choice. The pan-roasted duck breast arrives with pumpkin and Flemish red cabbage dotted with jus. Lean and juicy, the flavour is robust and goes perfectly with a glass of full-bodied Chilean Merlot.
The grand finale of this wonderful show comes in the form of the spiced apple and pumpkin pie, served with creamy vanilla-bean ice cream. The dish is somewhat deconstructed, revealing how all the different elements come together. The pastry is realised in a stunning cross-hatched cylinder that is dusted over with icing sugar and perched atop a fine crumble. Visible through the slats in the pastry is a stew of sweet apple and pumpkin chunks, enriched with cinnamon to give it some spice. This delight is accompanied by a snifter of Cyprès de Climens dessert wine and followed by a cleansing lemon verbena tea.
Hearty and familiar yet balanced and innovative, Riordan’s rendition of seasonal British classics is a delight. For a relaxed evening with delectable flavours, great wine and impeccable service, head to Blue Boar.
Blue Boar at the Conrad London St. James, 45 Tothill Street, SW1H 9LQ.
020 3301 8080 | blueboarlondon.com
Images courtesy of Conrad London St. James