I know you won’t believe me but it’s not long ago that I celebrated a significant birthday – yes finally coming of age! Some good friends, generously gave me a voucher to spend at Buckland Manor and quite recently we had the opportunity to make good use of it.
I regret it’s been some time since I visited this iconic Cotswolds Hotel, which is situated just a stone’s throw from Broadway. It’s such a beautiful property and reflects the collection of which it is part. Andrew Brownsword includes some very special hotels such as Gidleigh Park, The Bath Priory and Lower Slaughter Manor.
I am fortunate enough to know the General Manager at Buckland Manor. His name is Simon Franks and he operates the hotel with true style and panache. I am not certain whether I can take any credit from the fact that we worked together at The Lygon Arms in Broadway, quite a few years ago now.
Just a side note here. The Lygon Arms has recently been acquired by London and Regional Properties who also own Chewton Glen and Cliveden. Needless to say, we have great hopes for the future of the hotel.
Now back to Buckland Manor.
Even the approach and drive up to the hotel is somewhat special. It was a Friday lunchtime and was quite busy but even so we were greeted at the door and promptly escorted to our table in the classically beautiful restaurant. Service began and continued flawlessly with great attention to detail. I guess it’s something you don’t see around very often nowadays.
Simon came over and chatted on a number of occasions and it was impressive to see him actively working the restaurant.
We began with a stunningly presented selection of Amuse Bouche which tasted every bit as good as the looked.
Mrs H chose a Charred Pave of Salmon for her starter and I went for the Ballotine of Ham Hock with a prune puree, soused carrots and confit egg yolk. It was quite delicious and such a subtle combination of flavours. The confit egg yolk was a sublime compliment to the rest of the dish. Mrs H very much enjoyed her starter!
On to mains and we both chose Braised Lamb Neck Fillet served with carrot, sweet and sour lentils, red wine jus. Perfectly cooked and comforting on a cold winters day. The sauce was particularly gratifying and again a great combination of textures and flavours.
I often find with this style of cooking that portion sizes tend to be small but not here. Perfect size portions but we both had to give up before dessert.
They have a very, extensive wine list and interestingly the lunch menu is very reasonably priced at £24.50 for 2 courses given the quality of food and service.
Now I know every chef hates this but I asked to see Will Guthrie, Head Chef just to say thank you and to take a sneaky picture of him and Simon. Will was very amiable and completely committed to and passionate about the standard of food on offer.
The wife and I thoroughly enjoyed lunch and will be back again soon.
Thanks to Simon and Will