Lucky Milford to have such a Perle!
(And the good news is they welcome other locals - and visitors too!)
La Perle Restaurant - smart and stylish yet comfortably informal
First impressions are so important!
And what a welcoming sight greeted us for our lunchtime visit, with most tables already occupied by happy looking customers clearly enjoying the smart , stylish yet also relaxed and informal decor and comfortable seating – not to mention the delicious food.
Warmly greeted by John and Bonny, with our coats whisked away with no fuss, we were swiftly shown to our table.
The restaurant faces directly onto Milford’s village green so despite being small it has a lovely light open feel which even on a dull day is so uplifting.
Beautifully coloured Blood Orange Bellinis were our first taste of what was to come, closely followed by home made sourdough bread simply served with home made butter. Home made butter!! Apparently lots of locals would like to buy their butter from La Perle which says enough – and we would too.
Great value set price two or three course lunch
The lunch menu offers two courses including a glass of very decent wine for £16.50, or three courses for £19.50. Having sampled starters, mains and desserts it’s hard not to recommend the three course option although, having already eaten an elegant sufficiency*, we did have to share the dessert between two.
The menu changes daily but we are confident that ours (on Wednesday 1 March to be precise) was indicative of any typical day’s offering.
Starters – choice of three, included a soup option with truffle oil...
...which we love, but, being only two of us we had to leave out one of the options and greedily we chose: butternut squash and provolone empanadas with chimmi churri sauce (following the Argentinian theme from the previous evening’s paired wine event) which was delectably delicious, and smoked mackerel with horseradish pate on toast served with mache lettuce and soft boiled Flambard’s egg, which was equally appreciated.
Already this does not sound like a £16.50 two course menu (including wine)!
Mains – choice of three, included meat, fish and vegetarian...
We chose the meat and fish. Which were on this day - and each day is different - meat: Keyhaven lamb shepherd’s pie served with honey roasted vegetables and purple kale, and fish: och Duart salmon and smoked haddock fishcake with baby spinach and mustard sauce.
It’s hard to describe either of these as anything other than perfect.
Desserts – choice of three, including Dorset Blue Vinney cheese as an option...
We shared a mint choc chip ice cream which was in a different league from any mint choc ice cream we’d ever tried before - and we have tried many. This was served with a home made chocolate chip cookie and almond crumble which was extremely tasty - if a little challenging to divide in two with a spoon.
A taste of the à la carte dinner menu – signature soufflé starter
This was something else. It will also lead us back for dinner at the earliest opportunity. It’s a double baked old Winchester (cheese) and smoked haddock souffle, with spring onion cream and it’s sublime. Small pieces of haddock surround the perfect souffle and the flavours are unbelievable. It’s part of the dinner menu which at two courses for £29.95 and three for £36.95 is spectacularly good value for top class dining.
In less than two years since they opened their doors, Sam and Bonny have developed a fabulous formula serving high quality freshly cooked seasonal food in a lovely atmosphere and ambience which combines smartness and a sense of occasion, with a relaxed and informal style which envelops you as soon as you walk through the entrance door.
We thoroughly recommend La Perle! It’s only four miles from Lymington to Milford - and you could combine with a pre- or apres-lunch stroll down to the seafront to complete a daytime visit.
We’ll be back to sample dinner!
*The quote, from unknown origin, goes:
"No, I thank you; I have had an elegant sufficiency of the numerous delicacies. Any more would be an unsophisticated superfluity, for gastronomic satiety admonishes me that I have reached the ultimate stage of deglutition consistent with dietetic integrity. "