Nestled away in 16 acres of landscaped gardens sits the most gorgeous Georgian Manor House – Newbury Elcot Park Hotel*. Situated just outside of Newbury town centre this stunning country retreat boasts 73 bedrooms, a conference centre, a wedding and banqueting suite as well as the Orangery bar and restaurant. The brasserie restaurant prides itself on fresh ingredients and locally sourced produce, served beside a vast selection of fine wines. They focus on Great British favourites and have been awarded their first AA rosette for culinary excellence.
Late last year I was lucky enough to visit and try out their one night gourmet experience*. This included a stay in one of their gorgeous country houses, a five course tasting menu with matching wine flight, a welcome glass of fizz and breakfast in the morning. The eighteenth century Manor House features sweeping staircases and grand fireplaces with an equine flavour to the decor. The staff were knowledgable and friendly and really helped to make our experience memorable. Plus the picturesque countryside views surrounding the brasserie truly are a wonder to behold.
Our fine dining tasting menu consisted of:
Amuse – Pumpkin & celeriac soup with rosemary and black truffle oil.
Starter – Earl Grey cured salmon served with charred pickled cucumber and watercress.
Intermediate – Gorgonzola & walnut tortellini with nut crispy sage and chestnuts.
Main – Roasted lamb rump served with bubble & squeak, buttered kale, carrot ribbons and a red wine jus.
Dessert – Tarte tatin – caramelised apple served with vanilla ice cream.
I have never tried pumpkin before but I was pleasantly surprised by the sweet and flavoursome soup. The roasted lamb was cooked to perfection and the accompaniments complimented the meat beautifully. While the red wine jus finished the dish with rich and robust notes. The tarte tatin was a well balanced and sweet ending to the meal. The individual tarts were just the right size and the crisp bite of the apples aided in cleansing the palette. Alongside the meal we tried a selection of white and red wines which were well thought out and complimentary to each course.
If you`re looking for the perfect romantic retreat or lively mini city break – Mercure have got you covered! For a modest £75 a head you can bag yourself a stay and dining experience at one of their incredible properties and the eighteenth century Manor House is no exception. Elcot Park is a beautiful building full of character and charm.
Tanya Noreen XO
*Complimentary experience in exchange for review. See disclaimer.