Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park transports you to a bygone era of elegance and sophistication, writes Rebecca Paddick
Just six miles outside Bath and set in 500 acres of parkland, Lucknam Park is a former Palladian mansion, now a 5* hotel, recently dubbed ‘Britain’s finest country house hotel’ by the Telegraph.
Earlier this year, Lucknam Park celebrated winning the Gold and Silver awards at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards 2017, which included Hotel of the Year. So, to say I was pleased to get an invite to the Park’s Michelin-star Restaurant Hywel Jones, was an understatement.
Executive Chef, Hywel Jones has held a Michelin star at Lucknam since 2006, and back in April the team underwent a relaunch and unveiled a new selection of three eight-course tasting menus, in addition to a three-course à la carte menu. Highlights of the menus include: cured duck liver, salted almond caramel, spiced cherries and yuzu; fillet of Wiltshire beef, roast white asparagus, morels, wild garlic and smoked potato; and braised fillet of line-caught turbot, hand-rolled macaroni, buttered crab and iceberg, and Wiltshire truffle butter.
Our experience began with cocktails and canapés. A nice touch was a personal visit from Claire Randall, Managing Director at Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, who told us a little about the history of the resort, and what we could expect from the night’s menu. We were then escorted to the elegant restaurant for an evening of fine dining.
Perusing the à la carte menu (three courses for £87) I opted for the confit of citrus cured Loch Duart salmon, with beetroot, apple and horseradish, to start. My dining partner choose the dressed Cornish white crab, with Exmoor caviar and violet artichoke. As expected, the portions are small, but very rich. The salmon was refreshing and light and the horseradish surprisingly subtle.
For our main, I chose the rather generous portion of pot roast Yorkshire grouse, with smoked bacon, Brussel sprouts, chestnuts and blackberry. This is a real winter warmer, and considering there was no carbohydrate accompaniment, I certainly wasn’t going to be leaving the table hungry.
My companion selected the Brecon lamb, which was tender and moist. Each plate is beautifully decorated, and presented perfectly by the friendly staff.
To finish, my dining partner chose the toasted coconut cheesecake, with mango sorbet, lime and poached pineapple, and I went for the vanilla crème brûlée with strawberry doughnuts. I am usually not a big fan of desserts, but these good-sized treats were just enough of a sugar hit and were the perfect end to a stunning menu. A night out at Lucknam is certainly a treat for the senses.
Service throughout the evening was nothing short of fantastic. The friendly and knowledgeable staff were on hand to assist at all times. Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park is open Wednesday to Saturday from 6.30pm to 10pm, and Sunday from 12.30pm to 2.30pm and 6.30pm to 10pm. The resort also offers a less formal brasserie, a cookery school, a world-class spa and a renowned equestrian centre.
Colerne, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 8AZ
01225 742 777