This delightful restaurant with rooms is well worth the short trip from Birmingham or Solihull, with direct trains from London Euston too. Set in the pretty village of Hampton-in-Arden, the estate once belonged to Victorian prime minister Sir Robert Peel, founder of the modern police force – though happily food and drink take priority over law and order today.
In the kitchen, chef Rob Palmer (a local boy who trained in Birmingham) heads a young and talented team whose passion shines as brightly as the restaurant’s one Michelin star. Regularly changing set menus – choose four or seven courses – feature accomplished, cutting-edge dishes; each one a carefully crafted composition of texture and flavour.
Plump mussels sit in a vibrant swirl of Champagne and parsley sauce, topped with a crispy nest of potato straws. A perfect morsel of smoked eel takes centre stage in a delicate kohlrabi broth with fresh bursts of samphire. Sweetly caramelised chicken is contrasted with an intense, umami-packed sauce of truffle, mushroom and tarragon. Desserts show equal flair, with a decadent afternoon tea served Tuesday to Saturday.
To drink, the interesting wine list focuses on natural, organic and biodynamic bottles, while the 15 comfortable rooms in the Victorian manor house are decorated in Arts and Crafts style. We also love the creative ‘Anarchy and Beauty’ cocktail list, inspired by William Morris – try an earthy Roots of the Mountain Martini (Hendricks Orbium gin, Goral vodka, nettle, eucalyptus and Jurançon wine).