I loved this place.
The hotel itself is elegant and restful with squishy jewel toned velvet sofas, big windows, interesting art and open wood fires in many rooms.
The dining room was twinkly with candlelight and surprisingly busy for a Tuesday night during school term time.
The chairs are comfy. It always surprises me how few people get the seating right but The Rectory has done so, so you can settle in for the evening in comfort. It’s surprising what a difference that makes!!!
And now to the food... warm, freshly baked bread (yes, actually freshly baked rather than just heated up) which was homemade on the premises, was a very promising start. It was DELICIOUS in that way that slightly makes you regret a big order because it was actually so good, I could have happily tucked into a basket full of it with a good bottle of red and come away happy.
My starter was a trout tartar. Heaven. Every mouthful was a sensation and I could (and will) go back and it eat again - and again. For me this was followed by a very good steak cooked by someone who actually understands the concept of ‘rare’ (which in itself is increasingly rare!) and served with good fries and bone marrow. It was delicious and I ate it all up with relish. The maple syrup cheesecake came next - this was a recommendation that I wouldn’t have chosen for myself, but I will in future. It was delicious, unbelievably light and the perfect finish to a big meal. We then had cheese. No idea how I fitted it in, but the selection was good and it came with amazing things to eat it with - I don’t know what they were (wafer cum biscuit cum flatbread sort of things) but they were scrummy and not too heavy. Somehow all the cheese got eaten too.
The wine was fabulous and decanted into an antique ships decanter. Very stylish. The choice of wine was varied with decent choices to suit different tastes, wallets and occasions.
Other things to note include the homemade shortbread in the room and the homemade custard creams that accompanied my morning coffee. Both were nothing short of a sensation. I loved the fact that my morning orange juice was served in a heavy cut crystal glass - it felt very opulent. The bar was also lovely, busy and vibey and the barman was not only very nice but very knowledgable with just the right touch of showman to make it fun.
I heartily recommend this place. I shall go again. Soon.