Every now & then I get invites to various soirées, and as much as I’d like to attend them all, sometimes it’s just not possible. So when the invite from Drake’s at the Clock House dropped into my inbox, I was pleasantly surprised. It was to announce that Drake’s at the Clock House were re-opening after a period of refurbishment.
I’ve known of Steve Drake for a while & he is what I would call a safe pair of hands in the realms of Michelin starred cooking. His food has been precise, assured,confident and yet not overtly trying to follow current trends. He first came to prominence in 2001 after winning the Roux scholarship at his third attempt and gaining a Michelin star in 2003. The following year Steve left Drakes on the Pond, and with his wife Serina bought the current site in Ripley. Duly the star followed and is retained to the current day.
Steve Drake talking about the Roux scholarship
With the tables & new chairs on the outside of the room to allow mingling or ‘pressing the flesh’ as somebody referred to it in a comedy way. The waiting on staff circulated the room with various treats on trays. Of the ones from the menu I managed to taste the following:
- Raw scallop, pickled radish, coriander
- Curry meringue, chicken liver parfait, apple
- Beef cromesqui, seaweed mayonaise, samphire
- Parsnip, blackberry, sorrel
- Pink grapefruit & lemon thyme chocolate
Served on a spoon, the almost tartar texture combined well with the slight asian influence of flavours. There were nice balances of acidity & freshness coupled with the sweetness of the scallops.
An unusual combination which seemingly worked, although the curry flavour lingered a little too much for my liking.
Outstanding, beautifully crisp on the outside with melt in the mouth slow cooked beef. The mayonnaise & samphire just added new dimensions to a French classic.
The parsnip came in the form of a delightful iced parfait with the blackberry & sorrel adding various forms of acidity to lift the dish.
The new interior is light and airy, making the most of the original features of the building. The beams & wood pillars have remained, as has the oak panelling in what was the private dining room now the bar.
Based on the canapes I’d enjoyed Drake’s at the Clock House is firmly back on the radar for a visit in the future.
Big thanks to Mr & Mrs Drake for inviting me to the launch, and also to his PR Alison Jee of Alison Jee Associates, for the images.
The Clock House,
T: 01483 224777
Twitter: Steve Drake Food