Pennyhill Park Hotel
Pennyhill Park is known for its first class spa facilities and its high profile clientele. “Nicole Kidman stayed here the other week, and that Daniel Craig”, our taxi driver informed us, as we wound our way up the (very) long driveway to the hotel. What Pennyhill Park is not perhaps so well known for, is its brasserie – partly because The Latymer (the hotel’s main restaurant) has been grabbing the spotlight with its recently acquired Michelin star.
The Brasserie has recently undergone a facelift, with plush velvet seating lending it a stylish air. What hits you when you walk in (and it’s one of the reasons we’ll be returning), is that despite the hotel being an A-list haunt, The Brasserie has an incredibly relaxed feel to it. Yes it looks the part, and amazingly only closed for a day and a half, while the refurbishments took place. But there’s no pretentiousness being thrown around, just understated efficiency and a contented buzz throughout the restaurant.
The menu is seasonal as you would hope, and chef Iain Inman has made a point of sourcing local produce. You will probably experience some trouble deciding what to have from the menu, just because it does such a good job of showcasing a wide variety of moreish bites. We should therefore, have ordered different dishes on our visit, but were on the same culinary wave-length that night. First up, was the home smoked and cured fish platter to share, which sported the likes of smoked salmon, pickled mackerel, red snapper and a little pot of pickled mussel salad – an unexpected but delicious mouthful. We matched our starter with glasses of a very fruity Chardonnay and sat there taking in the view of the spa and the swimming pool across the courtyard.
We’d both decided on rib eye steak for our main course, and they arrived on our respective plates, looking delicious and tasting seriously juicy. Thick cut chips, Dauphinoise potatoes and bowls of rocket & Parmesan salad were squeezed onto the table and made for the perfect accompaniment to our huge hunks of beef.
On clearing our plates, my partner decided that he couldn’t possibly have room for the chocolate fondant, the iced lemon parfait, the tiramisu or the cheeseboard so opted for nothing. Then, on witnessing the arrival of my chocolate mousse, complete with gold leaf and hazelnut chocolate garnish, he ordered the same. And they were good – light but rich mouthfuls of mousse, which sat on a dainty layer of wafer. A shamefully sophisticated way to round off an evening.
Special offer: between 5.00pm and 7.00pm, Monday to Friday you can enjoy The Brasserie’s award-winning cuisine for just £18 for 2 courses and £21 for 3 courses. Tel: 01276 486 156 to reserve your table. (Prices are correct at the time of publishing).
The Brasserie: Pennyhill Park Hotel, London Road, Bagshot, Surrey, GU19 5EU. Rooms at Pennyhill Park are big on luxury: heated floors, four poster beds, brilliantly equipped bathrooms and duvets you’ll want to snuggle under forever, all make for an ideal getaway break. For more information, visit: http://www.pennyhillpark.co.uk/
Reviewer: Helenka Bednar