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Mallory Court is a historic hotel & spa located between Warwick and Leamington. Providing the perfect mix of traditional country house charm and contemporary style, the venue features 43 bedrooms, a three-AA Rosette restaurant, a two-AA Rosette art deco brasserie and a heavenly Elan Spa.
A member of Relais & Châteaux, the beautifully grand Lutyens-style main house is set in 10 acres of lush green grounds and is the epitome of a quintessentially English country house hotel.
On arrival at the venue, my partner and I were politely greeted and shown to our room. Situated on the first floor of the manor house, it featured a kingsize bed, stunning en-suite, traditional decor and beautiful views of the gardens and herb gardens.
After we’d finished admiring our overnight surroundings, we made our way down to the outdoor terrace to peruse the menu while enjoying a glass of Champagne and some perfectly executed canapés - beetroot & cod emulsion, pig cheek & avocado emulsion and a gruyere bon bon.
Food at Mallory Court is firmly based around the seasons, and the kitchen use plenty of organically grown produce from their own gardens, including soft fruits, figs, herbs, salads and root vegetables.
We decided to select from the tasting menu, which featured six mouthwatering dishes (an à la carte menu is available too). Mallory Court welcomes both hotel guests and non-guests to dine with them seven days a week. Afternoon tea and Sunday lunch are also available.
Five minutes into our bottle of pinot noir, the first of our six dishes arrived. Pollock. Featuring lovage-cured fresh, raw pollock pieces, sharp pickled apple, chilled tomato essence and lovage, the dish was presented in a small teacup-like receptacle and boasted some beautiful flavours.
Next up was the aesthetically pleasing and delightfully sweet Mallory Garden Salad. Featuring carefully placed pieces of homegrown young garden vegetables, a crunchy seed granola and a sweet Fosse Way honey reduction, it was positively bursting with bright pinks, oranges, yellows and greens and was almost too pretty to eat. On paper, it was the dish I was least looking forward to, but in reality it ended up being one of the highlights of the meal.
The next offering was the second fish dish of the evening - the turbot. Regarded as the best of the flatfish - with great flavour and firm, white flesh to recommend it - it was accompanied by salt-baked kohlrabi, grilled leek and an incredibly moreish crab sauce. Kohlrabi translates as ‘turnip cabbage’, and its mild, sweet flavour is somewhere between a turnip and a waterchestnut - a taste which worked nicely with the meaty fish and the ever-so-flavoursome crab sauce.
As soon as I saw a lamb dish was included on the tasting menu, I was sold. It’s one of my favourite meats, and Mallory Court’s offering provided me with a truly fantastic experience. The dish featured loin and belly of spring Cotsworld lamb accompanied by roast shallot pieces, a ewe’s curd filled shallot, garden courgette and lamb jus. The lamb loin was cooked to absolute perfection and the belly literally melted in the mouth. The courgette gave a sense of freshness, the creamy ewe’s curd was another welcome flavour and the jus helped to bring the dish together. My partner went as far as to say that it was his favourite-ever lamb dish, and I was very much of the same opinion.
The next dish was the first of two desserts and acted as a palate cleanser. Featuring lime ice-cream, pineapple jelly and a mint sherbet, it was the perfect mix between sharp and sweet and a dish I'd definitely order again.
The finale featured a light and fluffy meringue filled with strawberry pieces, lime curd and tarragon ice-cream topped with strawberry sorbet and aerated white chocolate shards. It was absolutely delicious! With each bite came a phenomenal flavour explosion - I urge you to try the combination if you’re yet to do so!
Full of fresh, contemporary flavours, the tasting menu came in at £75 per person, with a wine pairing available at an additional £50, and I cannot recommend it enough. Every dish showcased a combination of culinary precision and excellent technical ability. Hats off to both the chef and the polite and attentive staff, who explained every dish as it arrived and helped to ensure that our debut dining experience at Mallory Court was a memorable one.
After a relaxing and uninterrupted sleep - the bed was without doubt one of the most comfortable I’ve ever slept in - we headed down to the Elan Spa area before breakfast. Although we didn't have time to enjoy one of the fantastic treatments on offer - think massages, facials, rhassoul experiences, hand and feet treatments and more - we did make use of the hydro pool, the outdoor vitality pool - which overlooks the tennis courts and part of the perfectly maintained grounds - and the sauna & steamroom.
Choosing from a wide selection of breakfast options that included kippers and smoked salmon & scrambled egg, we both opted for the Full English, every element of which was, unsurprisingly, both tasty and of a high quality.
It was the perfect end to a perfect stay at a truly outstanding Warwickshire gem.
***** Lauren Foster
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