The Watering Place at Gainsborough's House Sudbury is a hidden gem perfect for dining in the lap of luxury
The Watering Place at Gainsborough's House, Sudbury, is a real hidden gem offering exquisite food and impeccable service fit for the 18th century painter himself.
Brand new to the town and following the exciting renovation of the shop and museum, the restaurant, which doubles up as a café by day, is where I found myself spending my Saturday evening on opening night.
We were greeted by warm and friendly staff and shown to our seats in the sleek and modern dining area, before being handed the extensive wine and beverages list.
Feeling slightly out of our depth (neither me nor my partner are wine drinkers) we ordered two ciders which came deliciously chilled, and waited for our pre-ordered food in hungry anticipation.
Before long, impressive charcuterie boards arrived on the table complete with Scott's Piccalilli, rye bread and a large helping of cured meats.
Not much of a meat-eater, I stuck to the basics with this dish, but my partner devoured the hunks of bread with all the toppings, and I am sure he could happily have eaten more.
The presentation was stunning and the dish was simple, yet incredibly tasty with plenty of flavour.
By this time, several other people had taken their seats in the restaurant and the sounds of subtle conversations mixed with quiet and well-chosen music to create a real fine-dining atmosphere.
Starters finished, we were ready for our main courses which for me, a little bit more my style, was a flavoursome spelt, barley and squash risotto, while my partner ordered the chicken and apricot ballotine.
These dishes were both divine; the risotto was piled so high I couldn't physically eat it all (believe me I tried!) and my partner had nothing but praise for his plate, which came complete with crunchy parmentier potatoes and thyme crème fraîche.
The food was truly luxurious and by the end of our mains we were almost full - but, of course, there is always room for dessert.
After a short break, a huge black cherry soufflé arrived for my partner and a delicious white chocolate and passion fruit cheesecake was placed in front of me.
I am a cheesecake lover, and this must have been one of the best I have tried in a long, long time.
It was not too sweet, not too sickly, with the perfect mixture of sharp passion fruit and creamy white chocolate and biscuit base. I was in dessert heaven.
My partner's cherry soufflé was just as tasty (I had several spoonfuls) and both came with ice cream or sorbet which was a lovely touch.
The restaurant offers two course meals for £26 and three courses for £32.
The Watering Place offers delicious meals unlike anything else I have seen in Sudbury, in a quiet, calm and luxurious setting. It is certainly not to be missed.