BRUNCH AT APPLETON’S
Since it opened in March 2016, Appleton’s at the Vineyard has been one of our favourite places to eat. Andy Appleton (ex Fifteen Cornwall) and his partner Lyndsey Marshall have created a very special restaurant at Trevibban Mill, where they took over the upper floor of the building last autumn.
The new, larger space is light and airy, with far-reaching views over the vineyard and fields beyond. Tables are widely spaced, giving everyone plenty of room, and the atmosphere is relaxed. Their well-stocked bar sells the wine from Trevibban Mill and also has a good range of Italian wines, chosen to match the dishes on the menu. Andy’s Italian-inspired cooking is highly respected; his handmade pasta alone makes a visit to Appleton’s worthwhile.
New for 2018 is Sunday brunch, served from 11am, with the last sitting at 3pm. Each table is only booked out once, so there’s no need to rush. Quite the opposite in fact; diners are encouraged to stay as long as they like, with a heap of Sunday papers provided.
There are teas and coffees, fresh smoothies (e.g. strawberries, banana, almond milk and honey, or berries, banana, goji berries, chia seeds and coconut milk), freshly squeezed orange juice (very reasonable at £7.50 for a large carafe), and Prosecco.
Obviously our 11 year old couldn’t resist the popcorn milkshake (pictured) which was amazing. I’ve no idea how Andy made the milk taste exactly like popcorn – very clever.
The brunch cocktail list includes a Bloody (or Virgin) Mary, a Blood Orange Mimosa (an Italian version of a Buck’s Fizz), and an Espresso Martini (pictured).
And so, on to the food. The brunch menu is brilliant, ranging from a rack of sourdough toast with butter and jam, or a pot of granola, to a “traditional” fry up. There are also full-blown lunch dishes, such as Andy’s signature squid ink linguine with crab, zucchini, and ‘nduja pangrattato.
Also on the menu were roast banana and blueberry pancakes with mascarpone and blueberry syrup, and smoked haddock and potato chowder with chipotle cornbread.
We ordered a couple of bowls of the prosciutto mac ‘n’ cheese bites to share – little balls of cheesy, bacony macaroni, coated in breadcrumbs and deep-fried – and they were immediately devoured.
The youngest child predictably chose the waffles; but not just any waffles. These were peanut butter waffles (with peanut butter powder added to the waffle batter), served with crispy, peppery, buttermilk fried chicken, and soft, whipped, maple syrup butter. What a combination!
Our fussier daughter had a grilled bagel with smoked salmon and rocket. The dish on the menu includes scrambled eggs in the bagel, but she wanted something lighter, and this hit the spot.
I also wanted a light(ish) meal, and opted for a Caesar salad (a snip at £6). The crispy salad leaves were dressed with a classic Caesar dressing, and topped with breadcrumbed and deep-fried soft-boiled quail eggs, thin crispy croutons spread with whipped lardo (oh my!) and shavings of Parmesan.
There were two optional additions to the salad: grilled rose harissa prawns (an extra £4), or crispy buttermilk fried chicken (£3) which I chose.
On reflection, this wasn’t a particularly light dish, or a healthy salad, but it was fabulous.
My friend couldn’t resist the Coombeshead sourdough with avocado, fried eggs, goats curd and potato hash. This was a proper brunch dish, hearty and wholesome.
Having been on a long bike ride before our meal, Jim was super hungry so ordered the steak and eggs. The generous portion of steak was succulent and super flavoursome, topped with garlicky, herby chimichurri butter, and served with potato hash.
We couldn’t resist trying each of the puddings on the menu, along with a jolly good flat white.
The blood orange and almond polenta cake (pictured above) was moist and dense, and beautifully flavoured with the blood orange syrup adding an extra depth to the dish. It was served with mascarpone.
The chocolate pud (pictured below) had a base layer of rich salted caramel, and a layer of chocolate ganache-y mousse-y loveliness, upon which was a perfect quenelle of crème fraîche and a pistachio biscotto.
Somehow, brunch turned in to a three course lunch, and every mouthful was wonderful.
I’d highly recommend booking a table to experience Appleton’s for yourself. For more information, sample menus, and to book a table, visit appletonsatthevineyard.com.
All photos by Jim Michell, Barefoot Media.
Appleton’s kindly paid for our food and drinks. Thank you to Andy, Lyndsey and Lauren for looking after us so well.