We decided to drive some distance to try this hotel for lunch. It had boasted of having several good right-ups and we were looking for a location for a lunch for between 10 and 15 people.
There is no doubt the hotel is large enough to accommodate that number and indeed they had a private room that would have been perfect.
We ordered from the set menu to test what the cooking was like and were somewhat disappointed. The chicken liver pate starter was mild in flavour and surrounded in a thick coating of unsalted butter. On the other hand the brioche that accompanied it was delicious. The fillet of fish I had was perfectly cooked but the sauce that accompanied it was bland and short of seasoning. For the main course the sole was buried in too much buttery vegetable and the confit of duck leg was well cooked but the vegetables that came with it were greasy and over cooked. I have made a point of detailing the dishes as the service from the young bar man and waitress could not be faulted. When we finished eating we asked to see the chef. We were told he was busy talking to suppliers and not able to come to see us. That may well have been the case but we felt even then he might have spent a moment or two helping us to decide if the location would have suited our planned party. The bill arrived structured without detail - just a list of figures. There was nothing wrong with the total after we spent time checking but why on earth is the bill not itemised for ease of checking.
The front of house staff seemed surprised that we were left feeling a bit aggrieved but were apologetic. Over all we felt the hotel was punching a bit above its weight and although it seems to have been awarded several awards in recent years we were left with the feeling they could try harder to please their clientele.
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