Harden's survey result
“The main restaurant really has the wow factor” at this ultra-plush country house hotel, where an architectural highlight is the superb, lavishly decorated dining room. Matt Worswick’s “excellent” cuisine throws up “some really innovative dishes” which his most ardent fans feel “will earn him a second star some time soon”. Even if that’s too strong for other reporters, all comments on the cooking are upbeat, and there’s consistent praise too for the interesting wine pairings that “really bring out the flavours of the food”. Top Tip: “superb afternoon tea, with a glass of Champagne and constantly refreshed sandwiches and cakes”.
Teething problems after Michael Wignall’s exodus to Gidleigh Park are long forgotten at the ornate, wood-panelled dining room of this famed country house hotel. This year it garnered near-perfect reports, with chef Matt Worswick (who joined in March 2016) turning out “absolutely delicious” tasting menus complemented by some “unusual” wine flights – “very expensive but a real treat”.
Under ex-chef Michael Wignall (now of Gidleigh Park), this celebrated country house hotel dining room “was ascending the culinary league”, but feedback and ratings have become unsettled since his departure, with its harsher critics bemoaning a “dull, corporate money-laundering experience from a former favourite”. Fans of the panelled, olde-worlde dining room are still in the majority, though, and insist it’s “amazing what (new replacement) Matt Worswick has accomplished” with his “sensational” cuisine.
“A focused and exquisite marriage of adventurous tastes” is beautifully presented by Michael Wignall’s “fine and complex” 7- and 10-course tasting menus, at this luxurious and highly fêted country house hotel dining room. There are quibbles though – prices are almost as “spectacular” as the food, service can be “uneven”, and what is a “gorgeous”, “olde worlde” wood-panelled room to some, is to others a little overblown and “old-fashioned”. Stop press – Michael Wignall leaves the Latymer to take over Michael Caines's role at Gidleigh Park in January 2016.
The Latymer, Pennyhill Park Hotel Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Lovely surroundings, beautiful venue, and food that is very nearly magnificent. One or two dishes maybe over-reach themselves, but this is a place that's near the top of the food chain. Not cheap, but worth it. And the afternoon tea is stupendous."
"It is easy to see why Matt Worswick has hit the heights of the Good Food Guide Top 50 with his devotion to the showcasing of familiar ingredients in unfamiliar taste combinations, the excellent wine pairings and the unfailingly helpful and knowledgeable front of house staff. We were struck by how difficult we found it to say which was our favourite dish on the seven course tasting menu when asked by the staff, because they were all individually delicious in making their own particular contribution to the overall balance of the meal. Another plus point was the extra information relating to each dish noted on printed cards and “served” at the same time as the food. Attention to detail was very much in evidence, a good example being the ability to choose the five course menu wine flight with the seven course menu dinner, which we did, although we ended up having an extra glass as the list contained a couple of other tempting beauties. The meal started with the inevitable gougères, this time with a truffle sprinkle, little ice cream cones with smoky baba ganoush and a wonderful pairing of Iberico ham and bergamot gel, and then good sourdough bread was served with a lovely black garlic spread with a taste of liquorice. None of these counted as one of the seven courses, as would have been the case at some Michelin star restaurants we have eaten in recently. The freshness of the poached oyster was evident and enhanced by the Oscietra caviar and the contrasting pickled Granny Smith apple cubes and juice and the tang of calendula. Normally we would feel hard done by to find two vegetarian dishes on a tasting menu, but, given the fact that such dishes are apparently very labour-intensive to put on the table and that they were quite stunning, we could not but approve in this case. We love celeriac and when it is salt-baked, served with super remoulade and a lovage sauce and Australian truffle and taken to new heights by a brilliant truffle ice cream, we are more than happy. Risotto is risotto - or is it? Artistic presentation playing off wild oyster mushroom against wild, crunchy rice made to appear almost black by some excellent malt vinegar powder and then paying respect to the classic version with a background of parmesan made for a dish that would deserve its place on any menu. It was interesting to consider the air miles involved in the next dish - top-class Orkney scallop and Brixham crab brought together with pickled sea aster with possibly a different origin again, but what a meeting of terrific tastes, especially when accompanied by the best crab sauce we’ve had outside Cornwall! The superlatives didn’t end there, either. The duck main dish was outstanding, with mouthwatering roasted breast and sensational seared liver with a mustard jus and authentic Waldorf salad contrast. The menu finished on a high with two desserts, poached pear on a brandy snap base with a sensational toasted almond ice cream, and a brilliantly balanced chocolate delice, milk crumble biscuit and yogurt sorbet. In addition, even the fresh mint tea was of the highest order, as were the petits fours, and this confirmed our impression that the whole dining experience had been very carefully curated. The solitary false note for us was that the dining room had not been significantly updated since our last visit and was decidedly out of tune with the lightness and modernity of the cuisine. Nonetheless we have certainly joined those who consider that Matt Worswick is deserving of more than one Michelin star."
|Wine per bottle||£30.00|
London Road, Bagshot, GU19 5EU
|Number of Diners:|
|Wednesday||7 pm-9 pm|
|Thursday||7 pm-9 pm|
|Friday||7 pm-9 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm-1:30 pm, 7 pm-9 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm-1:30 pm, 7 pm-9 pm|