The rule-breaking little brother to Lucknam Park’s Michelin starred restaurant, The Brasserie proves that au courant cooking can work in a classic setting, writes Kathryn Lewis
There aren’t many five-star country house hotels where, if you’re not up for the tasting menu that evening, you can feast on wood-fired pizza or a bloody good burger with all the thrills.
However, at Lucknam Park, diners of all persuasions – vegans, carnivores, laid-back lunchers and distinguished foodies – can eschew the smart dining of the Michelin starred restaurant to agonise over an innovative menu of informal and easygoing finds.
VISIT for a relaxed rendition of Lucknam’s star offering. Seasonal and local are still buzzwords in this kitchen, and dishes such as wood-roast Cornish cod with gently spiced Bombay potato, silky cauli velouté and curry-spiked raisins could easily go undercover on Restaurant Hywel Jones’ à la carte line-up. Yet revised classics at The Brasserie share menu space with crowd pleasers like truffled mac ‘n’ cheese and hand-raised venison pie.
The options for plant-based foodies are particularly interesting. Instead of ticking the box with the standard single vegan listing, there’s an entire menu of creative veg-led compilations which would seduce even die-hard meat eaters. A starter of tempura purple sprouting broccoli with Keralan spices, punchy mango puree and cucumber and mint yogurt made the case succinctly.
DON’T VISIT freshly robed after a dip in the pool. While The Brasserie shares a roof with the uber-swanky spa and is relaxed about its dress code, rocking up to dinner in sliders and swimwear is a definite no-no.
WE LIKED watching the brigade of chefs – led by Great British Menu competitor Thomas Westerland and overseen by executive chef Hywel – caramelise planks of juicy pineapple in the wood-fired oven, plate up Asian-style Portland crab salad at the pass and exchange friendly banter in the open-theatre kitchen.
INSIDER’S TIP Visit in summer when the bi-fold windows are open and diners spill out into the gorgeous walled garden.
What we ate (dinner)
Starter Keralan spiced broccoli fritters, mango, cucumber and mint, coriander
Main Wood-roast Cornish cod, curried cauliflower velouté, bhaji, curry raisins
Pud Wood-roast spiced pineapple, blood orange sorbet, coconut crumble
3 courses from £32.50
As featured in food Magazine’s May 2019 issue.
The thought of splashing £200 plus on dinner for two might make you wince, but every penny is well accounted for in the uber luxe Lucknam Park experience, assures Kathryn Lewis
The wall hanging at the Three Tuns states ‘no thieves, fakers or tinkers’ but it would be criminal not to steal some inspiration from this country pub