Colette's at The Grove

The Grove, Chandler's Cross , North Watford, WD3 4TG


SquareMeal Review of Colette's at The Grove

The Grove lies just 20 minutes from Euston &, while the exterior is grand & formal, inside is decidedly funky, with the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, Colette’s, hung with contemporary paintings & decked out with modish cream leather chairs. Balancing old & new is also evident in the kitchen. A pile of delicate & moist crabmeat, on top of a thin layer of coriander-cured tuna, is crowned with a generous portion of sevruga caviar. Similarly impressive is the mallard & foie gras: the meat is wrapped around a large portion of liver, then rolled in a fine layer of breadcrumbs & roasted until crisp. So, when one cuts through the firmly textured meat, out oozes soft – almost liquid – foie gras from the centre. Desserts, too, are classic-with-a-twist: a mousse-like bitter chocolate tart is partnered with praline ice-cream & a modish shot glass bubbling with a pale yellow citrus foam. Admittedly, all this indulgence does come at a fairly hefty price, but it’s not a greedy one for such labour-intensive dishes, & service is both cheerful & super efficient.

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Food & Drink: 9.0

Service: 9.0

Atmosphere: 9.0

Value: 8.0

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Foodess platinum reviewer 22 October 2009

Driving towards this imposingly tall old building I was wondering what to expect for I didn’t have time to check it out first, and my initial guess was to find stiff and starchy, but how wrong I was. They have managed to make a grand scale dining room inviting and almost cosy through simple dramatic décor and shrewd ambience. I found it difficult to choose from the menu because there were many interesting ingredient combo’s, and I was distracted by wonderful wafts of cheese as the trolley went by. Really pleasant, knowledgeable staff eased the process. After making our food choices we plumped for a superb wine sourced apparently from a tiny relatively new vineyard in Languedoc. The comprehensive list included descriptions of each wine which is so useful especially if you have to wait for the sommelier, which we didn’t, plus there was a good mid-price range. Precise cooking was niftily and sometimes very colourfully presented, with some dishes subtley balanced whilst others bigger in flavour. A near perfect experience rounding off with a witty neat rectangular toffee crisp and choc dessert which perfectly tickled our taste-buds (not too sweet), and visually enlivened with a flash of gold leaf.


Colette's at The Grove is included in the following SquareMeal lists