Cast your eyes over Cheneston’s compact dining room – taking in the cosy, old-school wood panelling, the open fire, the heavy mahogany furniture & the Victorian architecture – & you might guess the restaurant is a bastion of tradition. The fact that the set menu (£21.50/26.50 for two/three courses) is entitled ‘table d’hôte’ provides further pointers. The cooking is predominantly British & highly elaborate. A starter of hand-dived Orkney scallops comes with an entire team of ingredients: roast salsify, caramelised chicory, chicory purée, bacon & hazelnuts. Likewise, a wild-deer main course consists of trompette-crusted loin, venison faggot, toasted walnut risotto, celeriac purée, & – wait for it – chocolate & espresso sauce. Sherry trifle might come as a relief for afters. It’s all very expensive: £16-19 for a starter, up to £38 for a main & around a tenner for pud. A minuscule private dining room lies just off the main restaurant.
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