Friday, January 05, 2007

A luxurious start to the New Year: Pädaste mõis

On New Year's Eve, K. and I went to my friends' place in Nõmme, Tallinn - just like a year ago. Back then we didn't know that our short aquaintance would lead to anything more than a friendship, but to my great (and hopefully his:) delight it has. A year on, I've moved back from Scotland and in with K., and I'm enjoying every moment of it.. Anyway, the New Year's Eve was a leisurely affair with some 15 friends or so, some good fingerfood and cakes and bubbly at midnight. We stayed the night with my parents who live nearby to save us an unnecessary trip across town in the middle of the night and back next morning. On the late morning of January 1st, we headed towards west.

As a New Year's treat, K. had booked us a suite at Pädaste Manor, a small luxurious resort on the island of Muhu. After a few hours (including a 45-minute ferry trip) we arrived at the premises, and checked into our room. [See the beautiful and inviting entrance - and the guardian Labrador dog, Prick, on the right]. We had a walk around the grounds of the estate, I treated myself to a one-hour spa treatment, and at 7pm we walked across the torch-lit courtyard to the restaurant at Meremaja or Seahouse. It's a small restaurant, seating just 18 persons, and specialising on new Estonian cuisine. It's extremely cosy, with its dark wooden decor, a huge flickering fire-place and understated romantic lighting. We ordered a glass of champagne (Ruinart) and studied the menu.

At this time of the year (i.e. during the low season), the Chef prepares a table d'hôte menu (click on the menu to enlarge), though special dining requirements can be adapted.

[Click on the image to enlarge & read the menu]

We opted for the three-course dinner, accompanied by a bottle of Barbera d'asti. My gazpacho was really delicious - with a distinct and pleasant spiciness, good texture and fresh taste. K seemed to enjoy his goat cheese salad. The Pädaste bread basket came with a choice of six different breads - two baked on premises and others made specially for them. All lovely.

The main course - a duck confit with roasted fennel, courgette and some potato rösti - was also delicious. The duck was local, i.e. bred & raised in Estonia, though not on the island. Dessert was nice, if a bit paler than the first two courses*. K had a cheese plate, like usual, and he wasn't overjoiced by it. My kama mousse was nice, but a bit 'homely' - not something you expect at a fancy restaurant. The plate of petit fours that came with a coffee was a positive surprise, however, containing various chocolate truffles, nougat, cookies and some fresh berries.

We returned to our suite happy and content. The breakfast on the following morning provided a lovely end to our stay. First there was a good choice of teas, a shiny samovar, ice-cold Spanish cava, a selection of hand-made jams & marmalades, local honey:

There was also a selection of cut cheese and charcuterie, eggs, sausages, yogurt, milk curd cream etc. Quite decadent:)

Overall - a lovely place and highly recommended. Definitely worth the trip across the sea, and I'm looking forward to going back during summer. The place must be even lovelier during the long, white summer nights, when you can dip into the sea after the meal...

* I'm not sure why, but this has been the case in all three fine restaurants we've dined during the last few months (i.e. Pädaste, Vertigo & Le Bonaparte - I'm yet to write about my meals at the last two). The starters and mains have been excellent, desserts somewhat a let-down. The delicious desserts at Stenhus - another wonderful restaurant - were an exception rather than rule..


Anonymous said...

Those pictures made my mouth water. I love food like that.

Anonymous said...

Very luxurious and romantic way to start the year! :)

Anonymous said...

What a cute guardian dog! :-) And what a romantic way to start 2007!

Anonymous said...

That's better, now I understand why you've been having all that baby food lately! x

Anonymous said...

Sounds like K is a very special guy, especially if he gives you lovely surprises. Happy New Year to you both.

Anonymous said...

How romantic...sounds like a dreamy place! And I love the breakfast spread...homemade jam and milk curds oh my! :)

Pille said...

Chumly - thanks!

K & S - indeed:) I must tell K though that this type of romantic meals are also most welcome during the spring. And summer. And autumn..

Dagmar - the dog was very friendly and adorable indeed..

Roxy - I knew you'd approve:)

Pene - he is indeed:) Happy New Year to you, too!

Joey - the breakfast spread was really generous indeed.