Words cannot describe the most perfect get away at Whatley Manor. It was booked as a surprise by my now fiance and I cannot imagine anything that would top this. The long, curving driveway finished at wooden electric gates which opened in a gorgeous courtyard with a 100 year old olive tree at the centre. We were greeted by the manager who arranged for the porters to carry our bags to our room and drive the car away. After a tour around the hotel we were shown to our upgraded deluxe room. The views were of the beautifully manicured gardens and stunning water displays. I am a very difficult person to please when it comes to hotels room and I like it to be pin quiet with a quality mattress otherwise I do not sleep. This room was fabulous and I wouldn't change it for the world.
Drinks were served in the lounge and before taking dinner in The Dining Room, we were served some very clever but mouthwatering canapes of; beetroot with creme fraiche, foie gras mouse with pistachio cracker and lastly was pouched duck egg with an eel and shellfish foam.
The Dining Room has some very eye-pleasing colours with stunning lighting and soft music. Our sommelier was one of great knowledge and chose a delicate but fruity pinot grigio which completed our dishes very well.
Where can one start with the 2 michelin star food?! The award winning chef Martin Burge has certainly set the bar high. Having been thoroughly disappointed with Casa Mia's 1 michelin but in awe of Nathen Outlaw's 2 michelin, so we were hoping that Martin would top them and he did- by miles! The food is out of this world!
The amuse bouche to start was smoked haddock tartare which was surprisingly fresh and crisp and was brought together very well with the sharp flavour of the white onion.
The starter of Pigs cheek braised in Thai spices, served with caramelized langoustine tails and shellfish puree had the intense flavour of the thai spices without being too over powering and the Hand dived roasted scallop served with flakes of warm salt cod, caramelized salsify and truffle essence was truly fabulous, especially the warm salt cod which fell apart to perfection.
The main of Venison loin roasted, served with its own sausage, 100% grated bitter chocolate and reduced Shiraz wine was superb! The loin was roasted to a beautiful pink and was picked up every so delicately by the bitter chocolate on the background of the warming wine reduction. The other main of veal with pureed cauliflower with smoked belly of pork was sensational as well.
The two pre-dessert amuse bouches' were of banana pannacota with lychee ice-cream topped with passion fruit and cranberry and mint foam smoothie, both amazing.
Our dessert of Praline and chocolate soufflé served with lemon grass ice cream was so clever in that the lemon was a very prominent flavour but blended in so well with the souffle. The Bitter chocolate mousse served with iced popcorn and passion fruit, dressed with textures of caramel was a stunning selection of how creative the chef is.
The portions were perfect, in fact too perfect as we both couldn't move afterwards! And there were some petit fours to get through which Im sad to say we couldn't even though they looked and tasted fabulous.
The service was top quality and something I was expecting, but each and every waiter and waitress have a sense of responsibility to bring out the best of Whatley Manor and are genuinely interested in the food they are serving which is a quality that is so hard to find in other restaurants but luckily for Whatley Manor they are truly lucky to have these servers and it was a joy to see.
The breakfast in the morning was a standard english breakfast but all organic and very filling!
To top off the get away was a relaxing spa day ; 5 treatment rooms, inside and outside areas to the swimming pool and comfortable loungers.
I was treated like a princess by all the staff who bent over backwards to make my stay truly memorable and thanks to my amazing now fiance who planned every inch to perfection I am now hoping to plan my wedding in their amazing grounds with the to die for food!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC