I have been spending so much time eating my way around Manchester that I thought it was about time I ventured away from the City and into Cheshire. Being a Stockport girl, Cheshire is my daily stomping ground and I have also recently learned that I can get a cracking discount on train fare to Knutsford! With that in mind, I headed to The Lost and Found.
The Knutsford branch of The Lost and Found is in the former grade II listed town hall building and, let me tell you, it is absolutely beautiful. The ground floor is home to the bar with a secret cocktail bar used for events and private bookings, with the restaurant taking over the first floor with ornate windows, ropes draped around the bar area and the prettiest tiled floor. Each of the venues in The Lost and Found chain are themed on a mysterious professor, and Knutsford’s is Emily B Kingsley. Her love of the outdoors means the decor is butterfly themed and this is carried subtley throughout the building.
Each of the mysterious professors also has a cocktail named after them so I chose to try the Ms Hettie G Watson. I chose it because the main spirit was gin and Martin Millers at that, which is one of my favourites. Martin Millers, Briottet liqueur de pamplemousse, egg white, rose water, lavender syrup, lemon and sugar syrup are combined for a strong drink with a heady floral flavour that is the perfect sipping cocktail whilst looking over the menu.
The open oven you can see in the pictures above is the Josper charcoal oven, which is used in some dishes to quickly cook but also leave behind that slightly smoky flavour. For this reason, grilled meats dominate the menu with a good pizza choice and a bit of everything else thrown in for good measure.
My friend chose the Lightly Dusted Squid, which did not look anything like a squid dish I have ever seen before. More like a salad, the deep fried squid had been mixed with an Asian slaw, then drizzled with sriracha mayonnaise. The flavours were good with a citrus element from the salad and a warmth from the mayonnaise. Unfortunately, the squid was chewy and some of the pieces were so hard that my friend could not even bite through them. He also isn’t the biggest fan of a salad so was a bit disappointed in the presentation of the dish.
I chose the Ham Hock and Pea Terrine which, at £7, I thought was very expensive. A thin sliver of ham hock and pea terrine was served with 2 small slices of sourdough bread with a smattering of pickled gherkins and some piccalilli mayonnaise. All together, the flavours worked well and I especially liked the slightly sweet gherkins with the ham. I don’t think I would order it again though.
For mains we both chose items cooked in the Josper charcoal oven, my friend choosing a Steak and me going for the Tomahawk Pork. The steak was a generous size but you literally get the steak with a slice of tomato and some greenery. There are no sides and at £24 for an 8oz fillet, I thought it was on the pricy side. He asked for it blue and it was cooked well, but unfortunately cold in the middle. I think, having learned that steak should be at room temperature to ensure a rare steak is warmed through whilst still being blue, this hadn’t been sat out for long enough but it was a thick piece of meat.
My pork was nice. I liked that the steak was still attached to the belly and I could really taste the charcoal smoke in the crispy sage and onion crust. Once again, it was served with no sides so we ordered some fries, seasonal vegetables and some fried potatoes. They were a good choice and I especially liked the addition of radish in the vegetables.
Onto desserts and my friend, who doesn’t really get along with most dessert menus, decided to try the mini dessert and cocktail option. I love this idea as I regularly enjoy a cocktail either with, or after dessert, so this combines the two. It also allows for those who don’t have enough room for a full dessert to still take part and not feel left out. This is the Millionaire’s Shortbread which is incredibly rich with dark chocolate, a whisky caramel and honeycomb. The cocktail to accompany the dessert paired well with these flavours having Bowmore 12 year old whisky, salted caramel syrup and egg. It really brought out the bitter notes of the chocolate and took away nearly all the sweetness, which was an interesting flavour to try.
I couldn’t resist the Cardamom and Ginger Rice Pudding. If you have read my blog before you will know I have a thing for rice pudding and will usually order it from a menu, if it is there. This one was really interesting as the rice still had a fair amount of bite to it. The roasted pineapple on top had taken on lots of sweetness from being cooked and the ginger just warmed it all up nicely. It was the perfect Autumn dish and something I wish they made in cocktail form.
It would be rude not to partake in a final drink, as I have already said I enjoy a cocktail with dessert on most occasions. I couldn’t resist the To Betty’s For Tea. Masons Yorkshire tea gin, Briottet Creme de Bergamote, tea pot bitters, egg white, lemon juice, sugar syrup, milk and cream make up this weird concoction but I swear, I couldn’t get enough of it. The gin and the bitters really soured it off but the milk and cream, that was almost a foam on top of the drink, mellowed it out for a really interesting drink and one that I am so pleased to see on the menu.
In summary, we enjoyed our time at The Lost and Found. The building is truly extraordinary and the most beautiful place for a special occasion. I found some of the menu items on the pricier side but then, this is Knutsford. It is one of the more affluent villages in Cheshire and the menu reflects that, as does the decor. Would I go back? Definitely, for a special occasion. It is a real talking point and a lovely trip out into Cheshire for the evening.
I was invited to dine as a guest of The Lost and Found and was not asked to pay.