Restaurant within the 5* Manor House Hotel set in the unspoilt village of Castle Comb, serving Michelin starred cuisine
I think I fell in love with the look of this place the moment I drove through the chocolate box village of Castle Combe with the roof down just to get here. I had no idea it was such a little gem and on entering the main driveway of the hotel, you enter the grounds of a croquet lawn, beautiful Manor House and lovely, open garden for those wanting to gather for drinks before dining. It is a gorgeous place with a satisfying menu and although the decor there is quite conflicting, this was great to do overall.
Conversly, as the exterior of the building and bar / lounge areas inside are very ‘old school’ it seemed strange that the interior of the restaurant was so modern and my impression here was that this didn’t seem in keeping with the rest of the hotel. However, this is just a matter of visual taste.
More importantly, on to the actual tasting menu which was opted for an the bottom line is that I thought this was very nicely done. The food here was clinical and neatly presented – all the way through. I was not bloated on leaving at all and the products were highly satisfying from the duck liver cone snacks, to the gorgeously glazed breads and wonderful foie gras. I prefer pan fried or roasted foie gras compared with cold terrine of foie gras, but this sat beautifully between cold and warm and with no bitter after taste that can very often happen; it was smooth, creamy and non-harsh. A lovely dish especially with the raisin puree and sweet wine jelly.
Although halibut is not my favourite white fish (as I find it slightly chewy in comparison to purely tender john dory or turbot), the beurre blanc sauce with this dish was an utter delight (butter based sauce with shallots, hint of vinegar, white wine and chive). The only aspect of the meal I didn’t quite agree with was the baby basil leaves on the gorgeously creamy lemon tart dessert as this left a savoury note as the most noticeable at the end and personally I would have preferred this finishing tone to be sweet, but I understand it was probably trying to cancel out any attack of the lemon.
What I was most impressed about, was the fact that the hotel has its own mini orchard for apples, its own pigs and chickens, uses their eggs for all breakfasts (you can’t really get much fresher than that) and uses its home grown herbs and vegetables as well. It’s very good that the establishment takes full advantage of the lush and spacious grounds that the hotel has and frankly I would like to go back just to try their breakfast!
There were no food volcanic erruptions for me on this occasion, but neither were there any really low moments and I did enjoy this one. All the food here was consistently satisfying and I was grateful to now log the place in the memory banks for future referrals.
Food Grade: 82%
Location (Click google logo for directions)