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|Address:||Danesfield House, Henley Road, Marlow, Berkshire SL7 2EY|
|Price: £58.00||Wine: £19.50||Champagne: £36.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-2pm 7-10pm|
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Beetle in the bread basket some years back I can just about forgive, but not the lack-lustre food that used to be served. The Orangery now under the superb hand of Adam Simmonds demanded investigation. Danesfield is in the league of venues where you expect the experience to be trimmed and decorated with style and substance, so how did lunch in the Orangery live up to this?
Adequate diversity of choice for all courses should please most. From five main courses, I chose turbot with aubergine caviar, whilst across the table roast beef was chosen. Aubergine features for flavour not appearance so naturally it sat beneath the fish – surrounding this was a vibrant circle of diced red and yellow peppers in a bright yellow sauce – saffron fragrance pleasingly wafted towards me as my plate was set down. The fish had been treated with great respect resulting in perfect texture, but flavours were smothered by saffron. As the waitress appeared to check satisfaction level, I was saved from the third forkful saying that the dish was dominated by the saffron, and could taste little else. Without hesitation, she offered an alternative. As I watched expensive ingredients destined for their sad fate, the guilt which had swept over me faded as I tucked into a fine example of an elegant, flavourful Sunday lunch style lamb with decent jus. By this time the (big) beef had just about disappeared but not without a little help from me. Although we had the latest booking, I didn’t dine completely alone as others arrived for afternoon tea – which looked an enticing treat and seemed very popular.
The setting is prized, the wines are good, as is service. Once the Orangery get all the dishes right Mr S will have achieved optimum influence in both kitchens. Incidentally, the Oak Room (listed on this website separately) is now called Adam Simmonds at Danesfield House, proving his culinary profile is one to be noted.