Harden's survey result
“A perfect country retreat!”. The crunch of gravel on the drive and “beautiful views” set the scene at Tim Hart’s “beautiful” hotel (a fine mansion once owned by the Hoare banking family, and constructed long before Rutland Water which it nowadays overlooks). It offers a “pampering” experience “which makes no compromises to quality” in a very traditional style that’s occasionally thought to be “stiff” but more commonly elicits nothing but rave reviews. Aaron Patterson has overseen the kitchen here since 1992, and his “exceptional classic cuisine” is “beautifully presented with amazing flavours”. It’s not an inexpensive experience, but no-one considers it overpriced: “we rarely feel we can afford it, but it’s always turned out to be a pleasure!” – “a self-indulgent treat that makes one feel good days or even weeks later”.
“The effortless and gracious hospitality of a country house hotel is maintained down to a tee” at Tim Hart’s “magnificent” property (owned until the 1970s by part of the Hoare banking dynasty), with its “open fires, antique furnishings, and busy wallpaper”; “staff who can’t do enough to help”; and “unbeatable views over Rutland Water” (which the house, in fact, pre-dates). “All of which is pointless if the food isn’t great… and luckily it’s brilliant”. The odd critic feels Aaron Patterson’s cuisine is “fairly conventional (good quality but lacking a sense of adventure)” but if you’re looking for brined, pickled and foraged small plates you’re missing the point here, as his “very accessible” classical cuisine delivers a “consistency and reliability” that’s second to none with “wonderful attention to detail”. “You do pay for it”, but real complaints about value here are notable by their absence.
“You arrive to the sound of gravel crunching beneath your tyres, the aroma of log burning fires, and views across Rutland Water” at Tim Hart’s “beautiful” East Midlands retreat, and “if you are looking for the truly typical country house experience, Hambleton has it in spades”. The style is “somewhat formal, but none the worse for that” and it’s “the charm of the old-fashioned atmosphere that helps set it apart”, as enhanced by the “faultless service”. Aaron Patterson has been at the stoves since 1992, and he remains at the top of his game, delivering a “true, classic British fine dining experience” wherein contemporary ideas enliven a fundamentally textbook approach. “The wine list is exceptional too, with some excellent good value bottles as well as the famous names” and sommelier Dominique Baduel is “a past master of finding little gems”.
“A beautiful country house hotel, with wonderful views over Rutland Water” provides the setting for Tim Hart’s long-established East Midlands temple of gastronomy. It is “very expensive”, and one or two reporters qualify their feedback with the odd reservation regarding the overall approach (which can seem a little “stiff and old-fashioned”), but these are minor concerns, as few restaurants can match its “old-school charm”, or are as “consistently exceptional over the years”. “Service is really spot-on (friendly but always professional)”, and Aaron Patterson’s “classic” cuisine is “always perfect in every respect”, and matched with an “astonishing wine list” – “with many unusual items, ranging from everyday, affordable discoveries, to the most famous first-growths”.
|Wine per bottle||£30.00|
Hambleton Hall Restaurant Diner Reviews
"First time and just a one night stay. Fabulous! I had a lovely main course of Halibut. It was one of the best pieces of fish I have ever had, cooked perfectly. For me this summarises the whole dinner. A lovely varied menu, but not too large to its credit. One of those memorable meals and can't wait to go back. Breakfast, good but a little disorganised."
Hambleton, LE15 8TH
|Monday||12 pm‑1:30 pm, 7 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Tuesday||12 pm‑1:30 pm, 7 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Wednesday||12 pm‑1:30 pm, 7 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Thursday||12 pm‑1:30 pm, 7 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Friday||12 pm‑1:30 pm, 7 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Saturday||12 pm‑1:30 pm, 7 pm‑9:30 pm|
|Sunday||12 pm‑1:30 pm, 7 pm‑9:30 pm|