Written by Hayley in Out and about

Last month I turned 30, looking back over the years I’ve had so many experiences and achievements; being lucky enough to visit places all over the world, running a marathon, being in a job I love and buying my first house with the love of my life. For someone who describes themselves as a massive foodie, one thing that had been on my list that I hadn’t yet ticked off was “go to a Michelin star restaurant” so when I opened up my birthday card from Steve and read, “We are going for dinner at Fraiche on Wednesday 20th June.” I was ecstatic!

Fraiche is Michelin star restaurant owned by the very talented Marc Wilkinson located in the quaint village of Oxton on the Wirral. Steve had to book our table 3 months in advance as the restaurant only seats a small number, or as my good friend Rachel put it “Steve must really love you, getting a table there is like gold dust.”

Wednesday 20th came along and on our way there Steve joked about which chippy we should go to on our way home. None of us really knew what to expect and even though we knew the food would be excellent, we were slightly concerned that the six courses may only be very small.

When we arrived we were warmly greeted by the waiting on staff and lead to the lounge area where we were offered an aperitif. I had a gin and tonic and we were shown a menu with the six courses, not much was given away though, the menu only stating the main ingredient of the course. Steve and I will often go to a restaurant knowing exactly what we want as we’ve studied it the night before, so it was a good change for us!

As we sat sipping our aperitifs we were brought a series of appetisers, the first being a red pepper shot, to cleanse our palette. We were given some spiced pecans which we tried to savour, but they were too damn delicious to resist! This was followed by avocado and black rice caramel and yummy cheese jelly and yuzu.

We were taken through to the main dining area, the tables were spaciously laid out and the lighting, natural materials, art, and music had all been carefully selected to give off the right ambiance. It was such a warm, welcoming and relaxing place to dine. We were thoroughly impressed with the playlist and even though I’d set a “no phone at the table” policy, apart from taking photos of the food of course, we couldn’t help but Shazam some of the songs!

We had so many different dishes to try, it was a fantastic experience, each dish having unique flavours and textures. Each dish was expertly described by the waiting on staff:

Severn & Wye smoked salmon with bergamot and pineapple

A selection of homemade bread, oil and butter

Parsley mousse with hazlenut and buttermilk

Tomato, feta and chive oil

White asparagus, hens egg and morels

Wild sea trout with passionfruit and napa cabbage

120 day aged Hereford beef with cevenne and grellot

Fizzy grapes

Lemon meringue pue

Lemongrass panna cotta, crepes and sour cherry

Gooseberry, elderflower and meringue

Selection of cheeses

One of my favourite dishes was white asparagus which came in a lovely creamy sauce and right at the bottom of the bowl was a slow cooked poached egg which has the most incredible flavour and texture. The wild sea trout was another favourite of mine and went perfectly with the passionfruit cream and crispy squid ink. You were given the option of dessert or cheese, Steve and I had the clever idea to go for one each so that we could share. Each cheese was carefully paired with a cracker and fruit/wine jelly/jam that complimented it.

By the end of the evening the lights had dimmed, stars were projected on the ceiling and the music was chilled bringing the evening to a fantastic end. We felt full, our taste buds had definitely been tantalised and we felt like we hadn’t just come out for a meal, we’d been introduced to a whole new dining experience in which everything had been so carefully put together and arranged to achieve maximum pleasure.

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