Great Fosters, the perfect retreat for a chilly autumnal evening...
Reporter samples a fine dining experience at the luxurious Great Fosters hotel in Egham
SET among 50 acres of stunning gardens and parkland, expectations ran high when we arrived at the stately Great Fosters hotel in Egham on a crisp autumnal evening.
Snuggled in our scarves, my mum and I walked up the long gravel drive to a heavy oak door of the lit-up Grade One listed building.
As we entered the impressive, historic hotel, built as a royal hunting lodge in 1550, we were guided to the intimate and decadent Tudor Room by a well-groomed and friendly member of staff.
The beautifully decorated dining room with its polished dark wood, striking fireplace and magnificent mirror has a sense of exclusivity about it, the bewitching diamond windows and glowing candlesticks creating a medieval backdrop against the modern menu that lay before us.
crockery, solid silver cutlery and dainty wine glasses completed our table for two, draped in thick white linen.
a-la-carte menu encased in a bronze bound book, boasted a list of exciting and creative dishes.
The waitress explained any ingredients we were unfamiliar with and the sommelier suggested the perfect wines to accommodate each course.
As we were both driving we only sampled the restaurant’s Flight of Wines addition, where the sommelier selects a different glass of wine to complement each course of your meal.
The sommelier who had been in the wine industry for 30 years, was knowledgeable and enthusiastic, introducing us to some marvelous wines to complement each dish.
We started our sevencourses with a bowl of warm, comforting loaves and a range of spreads and nut butters which were incredibly moreish.
Next came a contemporary slate of canapes. Each meltin-the-middle bite was not only alluring and pretty to look at but combined artistic flavours, including beetroot macaron.
We did not feel rushed, nor were we hanging around for each course. The pace was set for us to appreciate the culinary delights crafted by head chef Douglas Balish.
The kitchen garden plays a major part in providing fresh, organic ingredients and this was demonstrated in our prestarter dish ‘Elements Of Our Garden’.
A silky quenelle of beetroot sorbet rested on a crunchy artichoke soil.
My starter consisted of a large pearly white scallop, crisp on the edge and soft in the centre with a wakame, jamon and ponzu garnish.
The sophisticated dish was elegant, yet the distinctive flavours of the sea packed a punch and the crispness of the trimmings complemented the smooth shellfish.
Thought went into the components of each dish and the way it was presented.
Before our main arrived we were treated to Langoustine Tea. The delicate shellfish looked a picture, sitting in a bowl of bold red liquid with floating edible flowers.
It was dainty yet remarkably flavoursome and rich.
Next up and the star of the show, was Scottish loin of venison with mashed potato, fig and cocoa. This was a hearty meal for chilly autumn evening,
a without leaving you feeling uncomfortably full.
A taste of something sweet followed with an apple and vanilla concoction.
It was a phenomenal take on classic flavour combinations and with my eyes closed it tasted like my mum’s very own classic apple pie and custard.
To complete our feast, I indulged in a decadent chocolate dessert – chocolate shards resting on three dark chocolate mouse quenelles sprinkled with sugar nuggets, dotted with a fruity sauce and accompanied with a refreshing vanilla cream.
Douglas and his team demonstrate their passion for simple cookery with intense flavours.
With an attentive yet unobtrusive service, the romantic and enchanting restaurant is the perfect place to experience seasonal food at its best.
The Great Fosters hotel in Egham has just been awarded the coveted AA four red stars.
The Tudor Room – home of fine dining at The Great Fosters.
View to a thrill: You can live like royalty for a while...
The Great Fosters hotel in Egham.
Just one of the seven courses served.