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Part of aristocratic Brocket Hall’s corporate hospitality and leisure package, this drop-dead gorgeous converted hunting lodge beside an ornamental lake has its own velvety gloss. Following the
departure of Phil Thompson, the kitchen now benefits from the attention of ex-Hibiscus head chef Marcus McGuinness and Arbutus co-founder Anthony Demetre (culinary consultant) – a partnership that promises great things. Their new menu keeps it casual and modern, so
expect starters such as foie gras parfait accompanied by roast and pickled peach, Szechuan granola and thyme brioche, ahead of plaice with cauliflower, crab and sea vegetables or pork belly teamed
with roast squid, turnip, barbecued apple purée and cobnuts. Desserts are equally memorable ideas such as a Pimm’s terrine with strawberry sorbet, crushed meringue and cucumber gel. Waiting staff
make all the right moves, and the 750-bin wine list is a real blockbuster.
So after a quick freshen up it was time to wander back down the hill and over the lake to Auberge du Lac. Be warned, the dress code is strict. No denim or sports wear (understandable), collared shirts only (what’s wrong with a smart polo top?) and shirts are to be worn inside your waistband (ridiculous, but I went with it).Its position overlooking the lake and the hall is stunning. The building itself is beautiful, almost cute, with a soft warm glow spilling out of its windows highlighting its strong brickwork. Inside, the dining area decor is very simple, very safe. Crisp white tablecloths sat formally on the tables while polished cutlery and sparkling glassware were placed millimeter perfect. Saff had accidentally bought two odd shoes, after a lot of fretting she crept in wearing little biker boots, she was relieved they could be tucked away under the long tablecloths...
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