You’ve just come home from work.

 

You glance at your weekly meal plan and figure that you don’t really fancy a tossed spinach salad, despite your very best intentions to eat more healthily now that a summer wardrobe is a-calling. As a cloud of complacency hovers over you, you suddenly realise that you don’t really know what you want for eat.

 

It is very much similar to firing up Netflix, intent on watching something, anything, then 40 minutes later, still not managing to choose a film. (I am currently hooked on Suits, but more on that later.)

 

If this is a regular scenario in your house, don’t worry, you’re in great company. A Google search for “I don’t know what to eat for dinner” brought up 360 million hits.

 

I shrugged off my indecision and started Googling places of leisure and activity. This in itself is laughable really, as I hate gym and gym-based activity (but I’m thinking outside the box, remember?), when Breadsall Priory Marriott Hotel & Country Club came up. They also have a dine-in section. Bingo.

 

Without further ado, I made a telephone reservation and found myself en route to the Cast Iron Bar and Grill at the Breadsall Priory Marriott Hotel & Country Club.

 

It is a nice drive there. The hotel itself is set amid rolling greenery of 300 acres of calming, landscaped grounds. It is very green and relaxes the eyes and soul.

 

Breadsall Priory also happens to be the oldest Marriott in the world, with Priory rooms dating back to 1260.

 

The main entrance is a grand affair with a definite sense of occasion. It is beautiful in all its Gothic glory and is worthy of being a place where one goes to read and daydream about dashing brooding protagonists (I will include this setting in my third novel, which I’m in the middle of plotting).

 

The restaurant is set towards the very back of what feels like, a larger-than-a-football-pitch building.

 

Entrance to the eatery is via the retail section, then the bar, then the restaurant towards the back.

 

Smiling concierge, comfortable seating in large booths and cosy lighting made us feel comfortable off the bat.

 

 

I started with caramelised scallops (celeriac, Cumbrian ham). I love scallops and these little tender morsels did not disappoint. The salty shard of ham was a great addition to the dish, and went very well with the subtle sweetness of the fleshy scallops and bed of fragrant celeriac.

 

 

Dining partner enjoyed battered Padrón peppers (coriander, mayonnaise). I have never had these battered before. They were a welcome surprise andI found the crisp batter went exceedingly well with the spicy seeds of the peppers. 

 

It was Friday, and it therefore made sense to go all out for ‘Fish Fryday’ with the grilled hake (broad beans, tomato).

 

 

As I look to reducing my meat intake, I find that I am going through a vegetable and seafood fixation. This fish dish was perfectly cooked, chunks of fish flaking away with ease onto gorgeous broad beans (that I also love). This was a dish that was thoroughly enjoyable to scarf, especially with the surrounding herby jus.

 

 

Dining partner enjoyed his main of tandoori lamb cutlets (yogurt, coriander). Warming ginger with base notes of garlic leading to smoky overtones was excellent.

 

 

Dessert of sticky toffee pudding was one of the highlights. Light sponge drenched in dark toffee sauce was the stuff of dreams. The best mouthful was having the sponge, sauce and just-about-melted ice-cream all in one, glorious hit.

 

I will be visiting Breadsall Priory Marriott Hotel & Country Club again, that pudding has staked a claim on my consciousness to guarantee a trip there very soon.

 

Rating: (1: Hate – 10: Love)

 

Food: 8

Ambience: 8

Service: 10

 

#InANutshell

Eatery name: Cast Iron Bar & Grill, Breadsall Priory Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Address: Moor Road, Morley, Derby DE7 6DL

Opening times: Afternoon Tea: Mon – Sun 12.00 – 15.30 | Lunch: 12.00-14.00 | Dinner: Mon – Sun 18.00 – 21.30

Covers: 110

Wheelchair friendly: Yes

Caters for dietary requirements: Yes. Do confirm at the time of booking

How to make reservation: Telephone or online

Telephone: 01332 832235

Head Chef: Manoj Oman

General Manager: Greg Usakiewicz

Front of House: Audrey

How to get there: A 20-minute drive from Derby city centre; complimentary parking is available on-site

Website + social: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

 

Whilst in the area: Get booked in for one of the spa treatments. From body-wraps to facials and hot stone massages, there is a wide range of great pick-me-ups to suit your mood.

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