For a more informal dining experience than Rockliffe Hall’s Orangery (but still very classy), visit the Brasserie. As with the modern architecture across most of the hotel, the design is thoughtful, south-facing with an elevated perspective from which to admire the beautiful grounds. There is a feeling of both light and space, and the option of sitting outside on a sheltered terrace is an added bonus.
As at The Orangery, the angle at the Brasserie is on local and seasonal, with the team using ingredients grown not just on-site but also from artisan producers nearby. Diners can choose from around a dozen starters and a similar number of mains. We liked that the menu combines the crowd-pleasingly conventional (fish and chips) with the much-more boundary pushing (such as a Malaysian monkfish and prawn curry).
A parmesan truffle soufflé starter was a deliciously decadent dish, although our other starter of crab vol-au-vent plus avocado and crab bisque didn’t quite deliver on harmonious flavour nor pastry quality. For the mains, however, there was absolutely no faulting either the turbot or the ravioli. As with the starters, both were masterpieces of presentation and, for the fish in particular, there was a joyful invention to a piece of perfect turbot with a deliciously crispy skin combined artfully with lentils, fresh asparagus and strawberries.
The wine list also impresses here. Sit back, take in the view and enjoy some generally very good modern British cooking.