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Thursday, August 4,2011

A taste of Britain in Broomfield

By Clay Fong

Broomfield`s Wildflowers Restaurant is located off the beaten path in the Hilltop Inn, a guest house situated a stone’s throw from the airport. Inside, you’ll feel you’ve been transported to a homey British inn. Sure, the traditional antique furnishings and old school fare may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but for expats or home-cooked meal aficionados, this venue delivers.

Run by a British-American family, Wildflowers serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and high tea. There’s also an impressive selection of scotches, beers including Tetley Cream Ale, the classic Bass, and my college favorite, Strongbow cider. Unsurprisingly, the owners plan to open a pub this month.

The dinner menu reads like a greatest hits album of British Isles specialties, including bangers and mash, fish and chips, and shepherd’s pie. The Welshman, which doesn’t involve Tom Jones, consists of slow-roasted prime rib over veg and mashed potatoes. Its cousin, the Irishman, features house-cured corned beef prepared in Guinness and whiskey, with traditional cabbage and potatoes. Entrees come with a choice of soup or salad. Our amiable server explained that the soups and dressings, like most menu items, are prepared from scratch.

Evidence of scratch cooking presented itself in a Yorkshire pudding appetizer. This eggy popover arrived hot, and after friend

Kon and I cut them open, our server drizzled them with brown gravy. The gravy had a distinct homemade flavor, while the pudding was crisp and soft in all the right places, serving as a welcome alternative to bread.

Kon’s green salad was a straightforward affair, although I am intrigued by the prospect of trying the Bass Ale dressing on a future visit. The family-recipe clam chowder benefited from a dash of pepper, although it was properly creamy and brimming with plenty of clams. The crowning touch was a smattering of bacon, which provided an enticing smoky aroma.

Seafood made a starring appearance in Kon’s $15 Fisherman’s Pie. This dish featured fresh-tasting scallops, shrimp and fish in a creamed sherry sauce. Two pieces of airy puff pastry floated on top, contributing crunch, and while the sauce was indisputably rich, it didn’t detract from the delicate tones of the seafood.

Being a Wallace and Gromit fan, I had to sample the $15 Lancashire Hotpot, a hearty lamb stew braised in Guinness and ladled over buttery mashed potatoes. The inherent bitterness of Guinness makes it a difficult ingredient to work with, but Wildflowers’ gravy lacked any whisper of harsh flavor. The lamb itself was surprisingly lean, happily lacking the fat one typically encounters in stew.

We ended with a $5 Guinness chocolate cake and a $6 trifle, also made from a family recipe. The cake wasn’t overly sweet, and the beer contributed an earthy complement to the chocolate. The fact that the cake was served warm didn’t hurt anything, nor did a heaping whipped cream garnish. Both decadent and refreshing, the trifle consisted of sherry-soaked ladyfingers, custard, whipped cream and strawberry puree, attractively presented in a parfait-style glass.

More a spot for the traditionalist than the hipster, Wildflowers ably succeeds in providing traditional British fare of exceptionally high quality. Its secluded location doesn’t do it any favors, but it’s worth a trip for the food-loving Anglophile. Of course, if one simply craves a substantial dish of meat and potatoes, it’s also a rewarding stop.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

[ Wildflowers Restaurant 9009 Metro Airport Ave., Broomfield (formerly Jeffco Airport Ave.) 303-469-3900 ]

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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I recently stayed at Hilltop for 4 nights and my room was quite clean, the bedding very nice and fresh. The management and owners very friendly and helpful. My daughter lost the key to her room and she was treated with kindness about it and charged no extra fee. I appreciated that very much. The free breakfast was good and substantial and anything we wanted was available...eggs, bacon, waffles, pancakes. They had a delicious granola and dried and fresh fruits out for us and the coffee was good. The only things i would change about the restaurant is that i noticed they did not vacuum the carpet the whole time i was there and they did not change tablecloths. I spilled coffee on the tablecloth the first evening and when we came into the restaurant for brekfast the next day, it was still there, on the table, soiled. We ate at aother table and the soiled tablecloth was not changed while i was there, from Thursday evening to Monday morning, when we had our last breakfast there. The dining room also was dusty and looked like it had not had a thorough cleaning in years...looking a bit like an old lady's tea room. I would stay there again, but this time i would tell them about the tablecloths, the carpet and the dust. My room was good and the staff is great but that dining room is a major flaw in their business. I only write this in hopes that they clean it thoroughly and change their table linens after each diner, or go to a plain table that can be cleaned and disinfected after each customer. This is an honest and reliable account of my experience with Hilltop Inn. 

 

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REPLY TO THIS COMMENT

A correction of my comment...the soiled tablecloth was from breakfast Thursday morning, not the night before.

 

 

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