Warwickshire Life at Alveston Manor, Stratford
PUBLISHED: 12:13 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:05 20 February 2013
Guests of Warwickshire Life enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Alveston Manor Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The Alveston Manor Hotel is one of those little gems in this busy tourist town. In the grounds stands an ancient Cedar of Lebanon where Shakespeares A Midsummer Nights Dream is said to have had its first performance. The gardens are still a peaceful haven where visitors can relax after a busy day on the tourist trail. The hotel is popular with business visitors too, who come for its range of meeting and conference rooms (up to 160 delegates) and its a pleasant place to dine.
Warwickshire Life hosted a client lunch at the hotel recently. Guests gathered in the Cedar Room to enjoy a pre-lunch glass of wine and then sat down to enjoy a three course meal prepared by the hotels sous chef Willem van der Merwe.
Our meal began with langoustine bisque served with a slice of tomato cipette topped with a quenelle of avocado mousse. The burst of sea flavour was a lovely way to start the meal and it was obvious that our chef had spent a long time reducing the stock to give such an intense flavour.
As befits a Scottish-owned hotel group our main course was from the Highlands. An organic roast rack of lamb was served on a bed of tomato risotto with roasted shallots, a warm artichoke mousse, roasted ceps and a champignon sauce, topped with a parsnip foam. The lamb was cooked to perfection with just the right amount of pink in the middle, the parsnip foam was very pretty and gave a hint of parsnip without the earthiness you usually get with this vegetable. The lamb was tender and juicy and the herb crust coating was the perfect contrast to the smooth richness of the meat. The roasted shallots and tomato risotto gave our palates a taste of the Mediterranean flavours that we will all be enjoying now that summer is here at last. Risotto can be a difficult one to pull off. Too soggy and its like eating nursery food. Too hard and its just unpalatable. This risotto was just right with enough bite to give texture and plenty of tomato flavour. Artichokes, ceps and champignon are not a combination Ive tried before. It worked though. I love artichokes, theyre at their peak in late-winter / early-spring (which is when we held our lunch) and they do go so well with mushrooms. (Note to self: order this dish again.)
Pudding can be tricky. After a large(ish) main course you wouldnt want anything too heavy but your tastebuds are hankering after a little sweet morsel to go into the afternoon. Thats where a coconut pannecotta with a white chocolate granita and caramel sauce comes in handy. Perfects white disks of one of the best pannecottas Ive eaten were placed before us, with shavings of white chocolate granita melted on the tongue and for an instant the diner was transported to the tropics its amazing what food can do!
As we enjoyed our after-lunch coffee group publisher Jacquie Pond outlined the plans for Warwickshire Life including some exciting new circulation initiatives which will see the magazine going from strength to strength in the county. Warwickshire Life has been published since 1936 (with a brief break during the war years) and the new circulation drive aims to see the magazine expanding its readership to reach thousands more readers who have not yet discovered its joys!
About the Macdonald Alveston Manor Hotel
The hotel has 113 bedrooms and is just a few minutes from the centre of Stratford-upon-Avon. Alveston Manor has four AA stars and a rosette for fine dining. There is a Vital health and wellbeing spa with a swimming pool for guests, and members to enjoy.
As a wedding venue the hotel is ideally placed for the towns churches and register office. Although many couples hold the civil ceremony in the hotel and enjoy the whole day here.
The hotel is a popular venue for conferences and meetings as it is close to the town but has plenty of parking. Meetings from two to 160 people can be accommodated and there is WiFi and broadband available.
The hotels sister hotel in Stratford is the Swans Nest Hotel over the river at Bridgefoot which has 68 bedrooms and conference facilities for up to 150 delegates. The hotel is also popular as a wedding venue.
Macdonald Alveston Manor Hotel
Tel: 0844 879 9138