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Lavishly turned out as a country-chic hotel, this ivy-clad Wiltshire grandee is now one of the UK’s great escapes – an epicurean package crowned by the immaculately appointed Dining Room. The departure of chef Martin Burge left new boy Niall Keating (ex-Restaurant Sat Bains) with big shoes to fill, but he’s risen to the challenge by beefing up the tasting menu to 12-plus courses and garnering a Michelin star in the process. Global influences abound, although there’s a fondness for Asian twists – as in turbot with pear and yuzukoshō seasoning or a pairing of dried tuna, miso soup and turnip. Such zesty experimentation occasionally teeters off-course, but the gastronomically curious will have a field day and there's much to enjoy – from silken tofu with Exmoor caviar and chicken broth to a dessert involving clementines, black truffle and miso. Simpler pleasures, such as crisp-crusted mini sourdough loaves and post-dessert ‘treats’ also demonstrate a slick kitchen. Equally dynamic wine pairings are a worthwhile investment, while the sight of the chefs out front is a nice touch. For big-event dining in a sumptuous, pastoral setting, Whatley Manor’s still a winner.
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Kemble Station 13km
Chippenham Station 13km
Burton Hill Caravan & Camping Park 3km
Malmesbury Abbey 3km
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
We tried for a table in The Dining Room as visits 12+ mths ago to Le Mazot brasserie hadn’t met expectations. Assured that the same kitchen served both, we booked a brasserie lunch again, since 2M* Dining Room is closed at lunchtimes.
We took the cross country approach and came in near the river and this time saw the south side of this idyllic Cotswold Manor house. Being shown to the terrace for drinks, it was obvious why this would be an ideal venue for Weddings. Immaculate gardens are matched by a carefully maintained, tasteful interior, but as you walk from the skilful marriage of old and contemporary to Le Mazot decked in heavy pine and bright florals flanked by more pine, you wonder why Swiss chalet meets Cotswold? Who knows? Oddly we move continents to find African influence in the form of small ornaments on windowsills. Eclectic, eccentric, even aberration sprang to mind. Le Mazot looks and feels incongruous uncomfortably sitting in a loving restored English Country House and we felt a slight unease perched centrally in a fully populated room amidst curious décor….best to be in a group as we had been before.
About 4 choices per course on Sunday lunch menu. £21/head/2 courses (no wine) was excellent value for what turned out to be top notch nosh. I savoured a roundly balanced starter of delicate goat’s cheese soufflé with de-constructed Waldorf salad (minus mayo). In contrast my partner’s gutsy hunks of ham hock, ideally married with fine stranded pickle, like a mildly acidic sauerkraut: equally good. My mushroom tagliatelle had a luscious coat of creamy yet light truffle scented sauce with a side of proper melba toast and pot of parmesan & pine nut puree – pine nuts dominated and partnered my main v.v.well. Pork roast was pretty high calibre too and near flawless. Chef has certainly shifted cuisine into a classier division.
Service : By no means slick, waiting 20 mins for the wrong drinks to arrive didn’t bode well, though staff were obliging. Matters improved as meal was served efficiently but paced leisurely, just what you want on a busy bank holiday weekend.
We’d return, probably for evening meal in DR and stay.
My husband & I ate in the more informal Le Mazot; which as it promises recreates the warmth of a Swiss chalet and serves delicious high quality food. Service was friendly and attentive throughout and we felt it was excellent value for money. Whether you opt for the Dining Room with its two Michelin Stars or Le Mazot my best advice would be to stay; Whatley Manor is one of the finest hotels in the country and is worthy of its reputation. The bedrooms are beautiful and the gardens magnificent. Those of you that do stay overnight must have the ‘black pudding’ for breakfast on my husbands recommendation. We are already looking forward to our return visit!
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