Everybody has a certain special way they like to celebrate their birthday. For me, I like to toast my existence with good food, good drink, and good company! Now, you don’t turn 20 everyday, so I wanted to celebrate the big 2-0 at somewhere a little upscale, elegant, but also somewhere where I knew the food was going to be of an incredible standard. One place instantly came to mind regarding these criteria; Hopgood’s.
Hopgood’s is set right at the top of Trafalgar street in amongst a throng of other various boutique cafés and bars. The outside of Hopgood’s doesn’t boast anything flashy, but gives off a very welcoming and humble appearance which draws the crowds in. On the inside the vibe is very homely and warm, with low lighting, candles, and rustic wooden tables and chairs to create a perfect comfortable dining environment.
As we sat down we were instantly met with the ever-difficult decision of what meal to choose. I’m not a big red meat fan, so that made it a little easier for me, however the choice between the market fish and the stuffed courgette flower pasta was NOT easy. In the end I chose the stuffed courgette flower with pesto rotini pasta, which I can confidently say was one of the best culinary decisions I have ever made. I have seen stuffed courgette flowers all over the food network channel, and I have been itching to try them for so long, and I can now see why they are such a big trend because it was delicious! The creamy cheese filling paired with the crunchy deep-fried flower and the pasta was a flavour explosion in my mouth that I never wanted to end.
Now when it’s your birthday, you can’t not treat yourself, so obviously the dessert menu was required. This also meant that round 2 of the decision-making dilemma commenced, because every single item on the dessert menu sounded delightful. I am a fruity dessert lover, and was instantly drawn to the yoghurt panna cotta with ginger crunch, raspberries and blackberry sorbet. I knew I had chosen well as my dessert was set down in front of me, as it looked like a true work of culinary art. As soon as I took the first mouthful I was rendered speechless, which is rare for me because I usually talk too much but this pudding drained all my vocabulary away and replaced it with punchy flavours that were sweet, tart, powerful and melodic all at once.
I can confirm that my experience here at Hopgood’s was one of the best restaurant experiences I have had for a VERY long time. Their expert customer service, tantalizing food and cosy ambiance has lead me to award them a very generous 9.5/10 on the Café Crawler Lucy scale. The faults, if there were any, were so minute that I wouldn’t be able to pick them out. A lot of love and time has been put into this place to make it what it is today, and the owner Kevin, who is also a very good family friend and shouted me a glass of Chateau Belingard Monbazillac dessert wine, has successfully created a beautiful place to enjoy amazing food and drink in brilliant company.