We had the pleasure of a leisurely autumnal Saturday lunch at Restaurant Coworth Park, which won a Michelin star last year. Nestled in 240 acres of picturesque Berkshire parkland less than an hour from London, the mile long driveway of this stunning Dorchester Collection property whet our appetites as we delicately navigated around frenzied rabbits and ducks feverishly crossing our path to lunch.
The talking point is the food and we also had to admire a statement piece of art above our heads in the restaurant – a striking oak leaf chandelier made from copper that covers almost the whole ceiling. If that wasn’t enough, there are eye catching views across the rose terrace and beyond.
Dress code at Restaurant Coworth Park is smart casual – a reflection of the understated yet elegant air of Coworth Park. They want you to be comfortable and happy which makes everyone at ease. Service was also faultlessly choreographed and felt friendly and relaxed.
Executive Chef Adam Smith’s ethos of “taste is king” is evident just by reading the menu where everything sounds appealing so we sampled a few plates. Here are our highlights:
Langoustine – The most tender, buttery langoustine was combined with cauliflower, a little citrus and truffle. A proper celebration of Autumn.
Hen of the Woods – Not an actual hen but a wild, edible, earthy mushroom typically found in late summer to early autumn. The fungi was smoked over rosemary and placed delicately tableside atop Jersey Royals, Tunworth cheese and garlic leaf.
Caviar Tart – Adam’s signature dish us made with Cornish crab, yuzu and cucumber. The tart was laden with Oscrietra caviar which I expected to be strong but flavours were so balanced, combining harmoniously with the crab and citrusy yuzu. Corn flowers and marigolds garnishing the tart are grown a few yards away in the meadow and brought a distinctive colour and texture.
Kagoshima Japanese Wagyu – Brand new on the menu and served over two courses, this was one of the highlights of the year, using A5 grade Wagyu in so many imaginative ways. First up, a collection of three tastes of Wagyu: Seared wafer thin Wagyu on beef dripping laced bread, buttermilk sweatbreads and a rich consommé. Finally, some fillet and oxtail are accompanied by a bitter lead salad. With Wagyu of this quality, you don’t need anything else as the unique intensely rich taste of the beef does all the talking.
Dulcey – The ultimate dessert. Wafer thin layers of chocolate, toffee, caramel and vanilla are a textural taste triumph.
After lunch (or before!), we suggest asking for a map from reception and explore the sprawling grounds. We had a little reconnoitre of the lime grove, rose gardens, watched a little bit of Polo and marvelled at lifelike sculptures all around Coworth Park.
This Winter at Restaurant Coworth Park
Launching in October, the Tasting Table is a unique and unusual opportunity for you to create your own menu with Adam. Starting with a glass of champagne and a consultation with Executive Chef Adam, he will talk to you about your favourite flavours and tastes. Together you will create a menu personally designed for you, and only you which he will then prepare. The Tasting Table is by appointment only and can be booked by calling 01344 876600.
Look out also for a guest speaker series and wine dinners throughout the year with an exciting line-up of industry experts. On Sunday 10 November 2019, Adam and Lisa Goodwin-Allen (Executive Head Chef at Northcote) will be serving three dishes each in a one off six-course tasting dinner.
Overall, Restaurant Coworth Park is much more than a hotel restaurant. London restaurants are great and often grab the spotlight but it is establishments like Restaurant Coworth Park that demonstrate how strong British hospitality is and how we all need to support venues outside London too.
To discover more, visit their website here or call 01344 876600.
By Mark Captain.