There’s real theatrical panache behind the opulent interior of Vanessa & Lee Scott’s grand Palladian villa, & their kitchen team show great dedication to local & seasonal ingredients. The short daily changing menu is attuned to the weather & the calendar, so a typical meal might kick off with ham hock, parsley & air-dried ham terrine served with split-pea soup & spiced pineapple pickle, before slow-roasted breast of lamb stuffed with nettles & garlic accompanied by a broth of mutton, root vegetables & pearled spelt; next comes a taster of British & local cheeses, with wild plum Bakewell tart to finish. Total commitment to environmental good practice is the driving force here, & green credentials are second to none. Luxurious bedrooms & excellent breakfasts, too.
A great example of how to help non-expert diners make an informed wine selection, Strattons divides up its wines by food-match group: fish, meat, vegetarian, cheese and puddings, with each section sub-divided by country and/or region. Each wine has a tasting note, too, and a score out of five to denote sweetness/dryness (whites) or weight (reds). All in all, a compact, clear and superbly helpful list.