Mallory Court, Warwick, Restaurant Review
PUBLISHED: 17:11 04 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:15 20 February 2013
It's not hard to understand why Mallory Court ranks high on many a list of favourite country house hotels: pedigree might almost be its middle name.
The tranquil Lutyens-style house stands in ten acres of immaculately landscaped gardens and grounds two miles from Leamington Spa. There are lovely views from the elegant dining room, which shows its class with handsome oak panelling and tapestry carpets. Service is courteous to a fault.
Simon Haigh's cooking blends classic technique with modern invention; luxury ingredients a woven into the culinary web and there's a dedication to local and regional produce (Lighthorne lamb might be served with minted pea pure and tapenade jus, for example). Elsewhere, expect to find - say - a salad of foie gras, home-smoked duck breast and pickled cherries, pan-fried John Dory with squid, roasted scallop, chive and vermouth sauce or fillet of beef with braised oxtail and vine tomatoes.
Desserts conclude proceedings with a classy flourish - as in chocolate fondant pudding with Amaretto ice cream or whole poached white peach with nougat glac and raspberries. The impressive wine list runs to more than 200 bins, heavily tilted towards France.
A new Brasserie recently opened in the old groundkeeper's lodge close to the hotel: this has its own style, its own chef (Jon Harvey-Barnes) and a less formal menu.