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|Address:||Pennyhill Park Hotel, London Road, Bagshot, Surrey GU19 5EU|
|Price: £55.00||Wine: £20.00||Champagne: £48.00|
|Opening Hours:||Wed-Fri 12.30-2pm, Tues-Sat 7pm-9.15pm (Fri-Sat -9.30pm)|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
My wife and I, with a daughter and her boyfriend, stayed for a night, mainly with a view to trying the restaurant, 1 Michelin star, formerly run by one of our favourite chefs, Andrew Turner, now at Landau, but now the province of Michael Wignall. The hotel has two restaurants, the Latymer, where we ate, and the brasserie, so it is perhaps not too great a surprise that the Latymer, on our arrival at 7.30pm, had only one other table occupied, by a couple. It is, perhaps, more surprising that only two other tables (one 4 and one couple) were occupied throughout our meal. Although this was mid-week, I would not have expected quite such a lack of customers.
All of the tables had been set, all but one with white fabric cloths. Our table, a round one in the middle of the room, had a inlaid wooden top which it would have been a pity to cover. We were seated in comfortable chairs.
Although the website suggests that over 200 wines are available by the glass, this was not obvious from the wine list, which listed a reasonable number, certainly less than a dozen of each colour, but nowhere near 200. Perhaps the website is out of date. The list had a decent selection of bottles and did not seem grossly overpriced.
Service was mostly correct, if a little frosty at times, mainly by a young lady who plainly did not speak English very well. When she had delivered each course, she then told each diner what was on his or her plate, presumably in case we had forgotten. This might have been useful to the many amnesiac diners the restaurant doubtless gets, had she identified the ingredients correctly. However, several times what she said did not precisely match what was on the plate – she got the main ingredient correct, but the others were all over the place.
Sadly, none of us found the food to be as enjoyable as we had expected. Every single dish was, to my mind too fussy, with too many ingredients, too many tastes and not enough of any one to give much more than a mouthful of anything. For example, my lamb main course had two small circles of medium rare meat – OK, that made two mouthfuls. There was also one similarly sized circle of well cooked meat. Then there were lots of little bits of other things. I found it messy and unsatisfying. Had I been the only one, the tenor of this review might well have been different, but all 4 of us felt the same way. Sadly, the same applied to every single course.
We all decided to have a cheese course after dessert, and that was by far the best course of the evening. The cheeses were, without exception, in the peak of condition and were served reasonably generously. There was a good selection, from which we were free to choose what we wanted. For the indecisive among us, the server made a decent selection. My favourite was a truffled Brillat Saverin, which I believe the server identified as a brie, but maybe my hearing is faulty. Whatever you called it, it had just reached that stage of perfection where it is undecided if it should be solid or liquid.
At the end of the day, my bill for the 4 of us, each having 4 courses (the menu is priced for 3 courses, so the cheese was an extra) including 2 bottles of NZ wine (a sauvignon blanc and a pinot noir) came to about £450, which is about par for the course for a top hotel restaurant, but a bit much if everyone left feeling disappointed.
If you like this fussy style of cooking, you will like this restaurant. Certainly, this style is something few of us would attempt at home, and so provides a reason to go out. However, my feeling is that the chef was cooking more with an eye to Michelin inspectors than to the general public. At the end of the meal, my daughter said she would rather go to La Luna in nearby Godalming. The rest of us agreed, as would, I am sure, my bank manager!