I went to school in Backwell. Which means that for 5 years I rode the bus past Backwell House twice a day – and I never knew it was there. It still seems to be a secret, hidden gem in North Somerset which is a shame as the house, the grounds and the service are exceptional.

This beautiful 19th century house has recently been re-furbished into a luxury, boutique hotel. We have been here a few times for Sunday lunch and love it so much that my father decided to stay over the Christmas period (I think he enjoyed being lord of the manor immensely). I joined him for Christmas Day. The hotel retains a country house feel in the rooms, bar and restaurant area and was the perfect place for a traditional festive day.

The restaurant doesn’t offer a vegan menu as standard but were very happy to accommodate me and created a menu that felt luxurious and that they ensured I was happy with (my mandatory request to have roast potatoes and sprouts was definitely honoured!)

Xmas Day Vegan Menu

In keeping with the country house vibe, we were greeted with a glass of champagne and canapes on arrival. I’m not a fan of places where you can be made to feel uncomfortable by overly formal service and whilst the place oozes luxury and glamour, it never feels less that comfortable. So, a relaxing start.

Demitasse of Jerusalem artichoke, wild mushroom and truffle soup – a tiny teacup of velvety, luxurious soup to start
Cajun polenta wedges, with beans in a smoky tomato sauce – creamy polenta with a touch of heat for the starter
Fennel and Wild Mushroom Filo parcel, white wine and vegan chive cream (side veg was also served) – a creamy parcel filled with a variety of wild mushrooms and proper Christmas veggies
Chocolate Brownie with pistachio crumb, selection of Winter Berries with a passion fruit coulis dip – a deeply rich brownie cut through with winter fruits

Coffee in the lounge (with soya) rounded off a wonderful meal that was much more interesting than many vegan Christmas lunches I have seen advertised (and eaten). The strength of Backwell House is the location (the gardens are beautiful too), attention to detail and the perfect level of service. When this is coupled with a willingness to provide this standard of vegan food, I simply have nothing but praise!

Vegan options: Not as standard 2/5 (but 5/5 for the actual meal)
Ambience: lovely country house feel but never over bearing – 5/5
Value for money: This was part of a package with my fathers 3 night Christmas stay. Sunday lunch is around £30 for 3 courses – 5/5