Food and drink
Head Chef Sam Moody has produced tempting menus from carefully and locally sourced produce– some even comes from the hotel’s own kitchen garden, but they also includes local game when in season, meat from local farms and seasonal vegetables that all play an important part of creating the high-quality gourmet meals.
Imaginative combinations make the restaurant worthy of winning third place in the south west in the Sunday Times 2010 Top 100 restaurants. This is gourmet food – so don’t expect pub helpings, but do expect perfectly presented and constructed taste sensations. Sommeliers are on hand to take you through the impressive wine list and help with food pairings.
Menus change every few weeks to make the most of seasonal produce and what’s available. The sweet goat cheese mousse with caramelized apples and candied walnuts was divine, as was my pan fried fillet of Brixham gurnard with parsnip and vanilla purée, with chicken jus rôti. Petit fours are big enough to act as pudding and are a good way to taste lots of different sweets with your coffee.
A smart casual dress code (no denim, shorts or trainers) and well-dressed staff give the restaurant a real sense of occasion – I found myself whispering reverently while I was there. Throne-like banquette seating in the corners and oatmeal biscuit décor with large mirrors and fine artwork stop the dining room from being stuffy and give everything a relaxed, but elegant, air.
Staff really make the whole experience of visiting the restaurant– guests are welcomed into the lounge with canapés and taken through a full high-class experience – there’s no need to lift a finger as you’ll suddenly find your napkin on your lap and your drink filled up before you realise it. Smartly dressed waiters are enthusiastic and explain what you’re about to eat, which is handy for people like me who tend to forget what they’ve ordered.
In [node:120509] near Royal Victoria Park.
Lunch set menus cost £25.50 for two courses and £32 for three. A three-course Sunday lunch including coffee costs £40. Three course dinners cost £68.50 and afternoon tea is £18.50.
Tables to book
Ask for one with garden views.
- Culture vultures
- People watching
- Special occasions