“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 the 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. Hand-dived scallops are served with crispy bacon, courgette purée and pickled cockles, while main courses might feature pork tenderloin dressed with black pudding and liquorice cassonade alongside a slow-braised pig’s trotter or pan-fried fillet in light bouillabaisse consommé with deep-fried cod cheeks and parmesan rouille – brilliant timing, brilliant technique. Desserts also offer thrills galore – witness Gariguette strawberries set in their own jelly with yoghurt sorbet, crispy almond cake and lime meringue. 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