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The flagship restaurant at the Hilton Syon Park is named after the estate’s 18th-century landscaper, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, and its spacious dining room is appropriately pointed up with
natural brown and green tones. The kitchen makes use of produce from the gardens for a menu of familiar, accessibly priced Anglo-European classics: starters of sardines on toast or ham hock with
pickled vegetables could precede cod with spring cabbage, mint and peas or pork belly with wilted pak choi, carrot and orange purée. There are also traditional grills and patriotic desserts in the
mould of Bakewell tart, fruit crumble and sherry trifle. Breakfast is available every day, and you can also take afternoon tea on the terrace with its 180-year-old bonsai tree. Note that Capability
is only open for dinner on Friday and Saturday; at other times, head for The Clubhouse.
The lobby is surprisingly airy and light, and staff get bonus points for being super-smiley and friendly. Off to one side is a large glass enclosure which is apparently the intended home of a bunch of exotic butterflies (to reference Syon House's Victorian butterfly house). Poor butterflies! From the lobby, we were led to the semicircular Peacock Alley bar where we gathered for cocktails. The charming and very knowledgeable barman talked us through the cocktail menu and its inspiration (the long cocktail heritage of the Waldorf Astoria hotel, and the fresh produce grown on the premises). We kicked off a selection...
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