Gourmet hotels are the places where you will find the best food, quality service, an extensive wine list and a relaxing ambience. food at these hotels will be of the highest quality and prepared under the watchful eye of the country’s best chefs.
The service is impeccable, the setting magnificent, and the food at Tim and Stefa Hart’s luxurious country house hotel overlooking Rutland Water elicits regular superlatives. Chef Aaron Banks presides over the restaurant (which has held a Michelin star for a remarkable 37 years) and where the imaginative menu includes such treats as poached fillet of halibut, cucumber, clams, oyster leaf sauce. Menus, both a la carte and tasting, change daily and a good value Lunch for Less menu is available during the week.
New chef Matthew Whitfield has swapped the triple-Michelin-starred restaurant Eleven Madison Park in New York for this comfortable Arts and Crafts style hotel in a bucolic New Forest village. His new home is emphatically the winner; dishes at its formal restaurant, The Terrace, may include slow cooked squid with cauliflower, confit mushroom, roasted shitake consomme (from the seven-course tasting menu).
Here is another starry new chef to look out for. Earlier in the year Douglas Balish, with a Michelin star under his belt, joined this charming hotel, determined to make the most of the larder of local produce from the surrounding area and the hotel’s kitchen garden. Fine dining in the Fernery restaurant includes such dishes as lamb, goat’s curd, morel, wild garlic, or, for vegetarians, duck egg, quinoa, wild garlic, celeriac. You can eat a la carte, or from a six- or eight-course tasting menu - or opt for more informal dining in the Artisan Rooms.
Owners Jane and Ian McAndrew have made this former manse on the banks of the River Nith a warm and welcoming place of pilgrimage for food lovers. Ian uses the best Scottish produce in his gourmet tasting menu or fine dining menu; a trio of pork from the latter comprises slow braised then roast belly, parma ham wrapped fillet, pork and black pudding bon bon, onion marmalade, burnt onion roast grelot and millefeuille potato. Both menus change daily to make the most of seasonal fare.
Dinner is served with panache at Tracy and Galton Blackiston’s Michelin-starred country house hotel near the north Norfolk coast. Galton, in tandem with Greg Anderson, runs the kitchen, while white-gloved waiting staff announce and serve such dishes as Scottish langoustine, peanut, lime - or Richard Vaughan’s middle white suckling pig. The tasting menu, served promptly at 8pm after canapes in conservatory or garden, changes daily.
The setting of this Cotswold manor is dreamy, surrounded as it is by acres of beautifully designed gardens. The food is equally impressive and chef Niall Keating has rightly earned a Michelin star for his modern British dishes such as tempura smoked eel, perilla (starter) or salmon, aloe vera, yeast beurre blanc (main). There are menus for carnivores, pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans, and the simpler fare on offer in the brasserie is prepared with the same care and attention to detail.
The North Yorkshire Moors provide a wonderful larder for Andrew Pern’s Michelin-starred kitchen at this thatched inn in a popular village. Much of the produce is either home grown, reared, caught, shot or foraged nearby. There are dining options for all tastes and budgets, from the good value locals’ set menu, to a la carte and a tasting menu with matched wines. Dishes from the last might include dressed white Whitby crab ‘stick’ with house-pickled cockles, shoreline vegetables, devilled crab, Charentais melon and ice wine sorbet.
Adam Simmonds had big boots to fill when he took over from Nathan Outlaw as Executive chef at this Knightsbridge hotel in early summer, but having garnered Michelin stars at previous establishments, he has taken it in his stride. There are plaudits all round for such dishes as salt aged duck, grapefruit, turnip, fennel from the seasonal main menu. A six-course tasting menu is also offered.
Everything that grows in the garden of this former coaching inn is edible, an indication of owners James and Kate Mackenzie’s commitment to locally sourced food. Despite their Michelin star, there is no fuss or pretension here, it’s an inclusive place with reasonable prices. James’ signature dishes might include Roast salt aged Leven duck breast, confit duck leg boulangere potato, crispy duck hearts, celeriac puree, pickled blackberries, parkin crumb.
This Michelin-starred restaurant with rooms is a family operation. James Sommerin heads up the kitchen, where staff include his daughter Georgia, while his wife Louise is in charge of front-of-house. As you look out through the restaurant windows across the Severn estuary you can dine on beautifully prepared local produce - perhaps Welsh lamb, coconut, butternut squash, cumin, mint. At weekends it’s a six-or nine-course tasting menu only.
Last updated: January 27, 2020