‘No expense spared’ is an understatement when it comes to describing this dramatically renovated 1920s hunting lodge – now a favoured weekend chill-out for City execs and foodies alike. Formal evening meals are served in elegantly appointed Dining Room (two Michelin stars), where Martin Burge continues to fine-tune his culinary style, creating dishes that are complex, overtly modern and utterly sublime. A carpaccio of cuttlefish comes dressed with poached lobster, bouillabaisse jelly and cherry tomatoes, while main courses might feature poached and roasted fillet of veal teamed with slow-braised cheek, caramelised sweetbread and hazelnut purée or John Dory with flakes of smoked salmon, crayfish tails and compressed cucumber – brilliant timing, brilliant technique. Desserts also offer thrills aplenty – witness a combo of bitter chocolate mousse with iced popcorn, passion fruit and textures of caramel. For something more casual, try Le Mazot – Whatley Manor’s Alpine chalet-style brasserie.
Wine Notes: Wine List: This large, interesting list has a solid French backbone, but is well supported by New World offerings, particularly from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the US. It also offers a rare opportunity to try Swiss wines in the UK. A decent selection of half-bottles encourages experimentation. Best Buy White 2008 Life from Stone Sauvignon Blanc, Springfield Estate, Robertson £33.00 Best Buy Red 2005 Les Challeys Saint-Joseph, Delas Freres, Rhone, France £38.00