Walking through the big red barn style door to Timberyard doesn’t feel at all like you are entering a restaurant. It feels more like some sort of industrial art space. In fact it is a former timber yard restored to a smart restaurant by the Radford family where slow food and sustainability are the order of the day.
Timberyard has its own space for growing, curing, smoking and drying and a patch supplies fresh herbs to the kitchen and bar. Other ingredients are sourced from local artisan producers and foragers while an eclectic list of wines from around the world, including some British examples, are on the menu along with homemade syrups, infusions & brews.
In the long dining room with distressed wooden beams, white painted stone walls and antlers as coat hooks with a 40 watt lighting feel augmented by candles, there is an atmosphere of modern medieval. Its stylish starkness is subdued by the softness of coloured cones of wool and randomly placed tartan rugs. An old wood burner helps warm the large dining area. Its fuel sits in stacks downstairs near the toilets where the sound of the distillation of German wine accompanies your visit!
The menus provide four courses so both à la carte and set are divided into 4 sections – bites, small, large and sweet menus. Our party of three’s decision to share the entire set menu between us with an extra bite and an extra sweet worked very well. The portions may look small and delicate but they are by no means inadequate. On the contrary, at the end of the meal there is a wonderful sense of gastronomic satisfaction without feeling over full. I was reminded of a bakery that existed in the West End of Glasgow many years ago called The Fairy Dell who made exquisite miniature cakes that were twice the treat of their bigger counterparts!
While waiting, the table was brought bottles of still and sparkling in- house filtered water followed by a gorgeous wee loaf of warm sliced spelt bread that had been made on premises and was served in the very baking tin complete with a strip of greaseproof paper. This was served with a plate of rosemary salt and juniper smoked black pepper with a froth of local butter that achieves its beautiful pale colour after being brought to room temperature and lightly whipped. Luxury!
Our three Bites (costing £2.50 each) comprised a ham hock jelly, quail’s egg, toast, cress, mushroom, apple then oyster, horseradish, crème fraiche, celery. The two Smalls (costing £5 each) were the mouth -watering delights of raw roe deer, smoked and pickled beetroot, bramble, spiced bread and cured and smoked sea trout, rye crumb, roe, cucumber. Both lip smackingly tasty!
The two Larges (costing £11.50 each) were lightly smoked salmon, dill, potato, cream and lamb loin and belly, beetroot, kohlrabi, kale radish with whipped potato. Three courses of shared ecstatic eating of pearl potatoes with feather light and imaginatively created dishes brought the verdict from H. and V. my lunching companions that the food “doesn’t so much melt in the mouth as burst - no explode!” And we still had puddings to come!
We were happy to share two Sweets, (costing £5 each) but three delectable plates arrived. They were graced with the toothsome selection of sea buckthorn, crowdie, carrot and biscuit; tiny baked apple (some of which could pass for the texture of plums so perfectly were they cooked!), nut crumb and cider caramel and chocolate brownie, blueberries, cream. Heaven on a plate! Or in this case, three plates.
This fabulous colourful fairy –like feast was accompanied by a very quaffable South African Chenin Blanc. Lunching at Timberyard is a truly unique treat worth experiencing.