I give you a different kind of writing desk this evening. A gorgeous spa. Let’s just set the scene for you. I write this as I am sat next to a dim-light 12 metres swimming pool, bubbling vitality pool and the glow of Himalayan Rock Salt beaming from the sauna.
Last night I went for dinner and cocktails with a dear friend of mine. Bare in mind, this is a first impressions critic. I have never been to The Moonraker Hotel before, although my friend had been. We decided to do the Tasting Menu, and it did not disappoint!
The restaurant and lounge are set in an old converted barn, you can envisage the open beams and original features dating back to the 16th century. I love it. Right up my street. Luckily when we arrived it was quiet so I managed to sneak some cheeky snaps.
Impeccable. Yes it deserves to be in bold! I absolutely love when customer service is spot on. They had it just right. They had two waitresses attending to us and they couldn’t have been any more helpful. Down to earth, easy going (essential in hospitality, you never know what types of customers you may get.) Watching how they served other tables as well was second to none, adapting to their mannerisms. Every table shouldn’t be served in the same way in my eyes. Everybody is different and seeks a different experience from dining, yet we want everyone to have the best that they could possibly have. That’s me getting all carried away talking hospitality now. Back to the ladies. At one point in the evening, I poured some water into my glass, being selfish I didn’t realise I finished the last bit off. We chuckled and I said to my friend how inconsiderate it was of me to not share the last bit, jokingly. Next thing I know, the waitress is there offering to fill it back up. Obviously this is normal but she was there before I had to ask or even contemplate in my own mind having more water. Again, love. The whole night was as attentive as this one scenario. They were fabulous, I felt like my presence was wanted in the restaurant. Not just a conveyor belt system. Needless to say, they got a generous tip from us both.
We were asked on our drinks instantly. We had a look at there new cocktail menu. They primarly focus on wine with an extensive wine list. I enjoyed the Three Choirs which matched with the Risotto and Fish elements of the menu perfectly. My friend was driving so had the Fruit Punch mocktail, which she enjoyed two of and I must admit looked very refreshing.
We were then promptly brought a board of homemade bread. Rye and tomato. Delicious. Accompanied by our favourite, balsamic and olive oil. Also there was garlic butter. The butter was a little too intense in both aroma and flavour for me, but I think that was to personal taste.
Plate 1 | Orzotto
This was so cheesy it was divine. Melted Parmesan, could it get any better than that? Yes, add parsley, perfectly cooked risotto and the sharpness from the shallots. Life complete.
Plate 2 | Mackerel
Now I’m not gonna pretend that I am one to love a fish dish but I honestly enjoyed this. I was a little apprehensive that the mackerel might be too overpowering with fishy undertones, but I was pleasantly surprised. It married well with the lemon, radish and cucumber, and so I polished it all off.
Plate 3 | Veloute
This was a warm little palate cleanser between the fish and meat dish. Again, slight apprehension over the pumpkin, but it was so well balanced. The perfect intermezzo.
Plate 4 | Beef
Bellissima! Fillet and cheek of beef, cooked to absolute perfection, tender and pink. Fluffy fondant potatoe which was a highlight of the dish for me. Crunchy roasted cauliflower, marrow and braised artichoke to build the plate. The only negative, (if you call it that) I wished there was more of the sauce to satisfy the two cuts of beef. They had the same garlic butter that accompanied the bread to start, I felt that I could stomach the flavour of this against the other flavours on this plate, where as with the bread, it was a little too much for me. They also had a well bodied red wine sauce. This I loooooooved. I just needed more. Perhaps a little miniture jug to pour wouldn’t have gone a miss.
Plate 5| Chocolate
I just cannot with this. I cannot cope. My favourite thing is chocolate so I just died and went to heaven upon first mouthful. The chocolate marquis was so rich in cocoa but I didn’t mind that one bit. Not when you have a creamy honeycomb icecream to mellow it down with, of course. A fun part of this dish was the White Chocolate Areo, it’s the white dust you see on the plate. I could just bathe in this stuff. Is that weird? I don’t care. Love, love, love it. Finally, apricot jam to add some tart to the chocolate. This was my favourite course.
I washed the entirety of this tasting menu down with an expresso martini. Kahula get in ma belly.
The service and food was excellent. I simply didn’t mark 5/5 as I wasn’t mad about the minimal sauce on the beef dish. I feel like they need to have more sauce available to compensate two cuts of beef. Also I didn’t like the red plate for the chocolate, it spun me! But I understand that they wanted all the colours on the plate to stand out. I also would like to mention the lavatories, they stock Neals Yards products for the hand soap and hand lotion. This is a lovely touch using a local supplier. I will definitely be returning and I recommend you all to check it out if you are in the town of Bradford On Avon or surrounding area.