Visits to the Chewton Glen are always a resounding success. Being invited to dine at ‘The Kitchen’ on its opening night was definitely that. The Kitchen is a new adventure for the Chewton Glen. An exciting and informal one.
We loved the hotel as it was – the quintessentially english luxuriousness. It’s somewhere we love to celebrate a special occasion at. The Kitchen brings a new casual side which definitely completes the package. It is ideal for guests who want something a little more casual.
The Kitchen is in a brand new building, near the entrance to the hotel grounds. It oozes modernity and the design and decor is excellent. James Martin used to run the kitchen at the CG and he’s put his name and support to this new venture. You will have #BathroomGoals issues when you see the white-washed wooden panelling and cooper pipe hooks… The teaching kitchen will create serious #KitchenGoals. If you are taking a cooking class then you are in for a treat. As you walk in, you will immediately come across #WineRackGoals. No risk of The Kitchen running dry…
The dining space is slick and you can choose between booths or smaller tables. Everywhere has a great view of the kitchen. Come summer the bi-fold doors will slide open along one side of the building. There’s also the option of al fresco dining by the little kitchen garden. We really liked the metal tables and the old-fashioned linen napkins – simple and unfussy.
One area of the restaurant is reserved for those that are cooking their own dinner! I am pretty taken with the aprons, but I was happy to have my dinner cooked for me! There is a plethora of different courses to take. And it sounds like an exciting line of up celebrity chef sessions coming up too.
It is very coffee-shop or wine-bar cool environment. It is a great alternative to the sumptuous surroundings at the main hotel.
The best way to start any supper is with a glass of something fizzy. Champagne for me and some local Lymington ale for Mr P. Opening night was a Tuesday – it was a real treat as mid-week nights are normally abstemious!
As the wine rack shows, there’s no lack of choice at The Kitchen. 4 sparkling wines by the glass, including a local option from Danebury that was really rather pleasant. Our drinks did take a little while to arrive each time we ordered. I suspect there’s some getting used to where everything is for the new team.
The menu is excellent… A sneak peak for you below! I’d looked at the online menu in advance, at around 3pm when I was getting peckish… It is clever food, some of the old favourites approached differently as well as some other unique ideas.
We all know that I’m not a food photographer, but I did get a couple of snaps that will tempt you.
To start there is a splendid choice of quirky sharing dishes. Nothing says relaxed dining better than a spot of grazing! We choose three and they smelt divine! And aren’t the serving dishes cute! With the street-food-esqe set up and the truffle oil wafting up off the mushroom orecchiette we knew they had it right. It reminded us of the Palomar vibe which we love. Tick in the box. The squid was melt in the mouth and my absolute favourite was the gin and tonic scampi. I can’t say I tasted the gin or the tonic, but the batter was excellent as was the dressing. So good I could have eaten a few more bowls… Perhaps they will serve it to me as a main course in future!
Main course was another feast. Pizza, salad or burger is what makes up the lion’s share of the menu, although there are other options. The burger came with truffle mayonnaise – I didn’t actually read any further down the menu! I love truffle. An excellent choice – it was a great burger, made posh – one of the best. Of course it’s wagyu beef! And the chips were as good as any I have had – although we over ordered as I hadn’t realised they came with the burger. Mr P demolished his pizza – fennel and rosemary sausage. I’m told it was very tasty. I had hoped he might have ordered the asparagus, egg and truffle option as I really wanted a taste of that!
I personally didn’t need dessert (too much scampi), but Mr P chose the lemon tart and went very quiet for the duration. Always positive!
The mix of flavours and choices was really clever. It is a very thoughtful menu. Finger-licking good.
Before we left, it was a treat to meet hotel exec chef Luke Matthews as let’s face it we’ve eaten a lot of his excellent culinary creations over the years! He was keeping a close eye on proceedings in the kitchen. Mr P was pleased to learn that the lobster curry in the fine-dining restaurant is one of Luke’s favourites and there to stay!
It was fascinating hearing how The Kitchen menu was put together and all the research that went it. It was also interesting to hear how scary being on Saturday Kitchen is… Apparently the second time is tougher than the first!
The cookery school space is as slick as the rest of the building. I love the copper-work as well as the extractor fans behind each of the hobs that rise out of the work top at the press of a button!
If you look really closely through the glass partition you should be able to spot a rather famous british comedian enjoyed the relaxed dining just the same as we did! That’s what epitomises this place – as a hotel it is a real escape even for famous people to wind down. The Kitchen gives hotel guests and those joining for dinner somewhere to enjoy the high standards the hotel is known for, but in a relaxed setting. The Kitchen ticks those boxes – with good hearty and tasty food.
I said to Mr P as we left that it is going to be the perfect place for a lazy afternoon in the summer. I can see us coming over with our bikes and stopping for lunch and some wine in the sunshine. Adding this informal space to the hotel was a genius idea.
We were guests of The Chewton Glen on this occasion