If you are looking for a Christmas celebration with lashings of French style, why not try one of the Cirque du Noel packages on offer at Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge? You could begin with winter cocktails in the stylish bar. The Winter Chocolate Martini is popular, but I savoured the festive Oatlands Negroni, mixed to perfection and ruby red for Christmas. There are also decorative mocktails for those who prefer something non-alcoholic.
Then lunch was served in the elegant Mulberry Restaurant. Starters are an absolute treat. I began with full-flavoured salmon gravadlax, with a wonderful dill-infused mustard sauce. My companion enjoyed winter salad, a medley of blue cheese, pear and candied walnut on a bed of leaves, a perfect combination of flavours and textures.
Main course poultry is of the highest quality. The turkey is locally sourced, from nearby Barracks Farm. It was moist, full of flavour and accompanied by all the traditional trimmings, including a little tartlet of cranberry sauce. I tucked into superb confit of duck leg, with vibrant savoy cabbage and dear little roasted new potatoes. Vegetarians are not forgotten: the other main course option is butternut squash and spinach risotto. To accompany your meal, some lovely varietals are available by the glass or bottle from a well-chosen wine list.
The set menu comes as a two-course or three-course option. If you have room for more, enjoy cheddar with chutney and celery, a melt-in-the-mouth chocolate and orange mousse with a rosette of Baileys cream, or a fresh fruit salad. Round off your feast with coffee or tea and mince pies.
This is a first-class festive meal and what makes it extra-special is being able to enjoy it in the lavish surroundings of the Oatlands Park Hotel. The historic house and grounds provide an oasis of calm and luxury. Impeccable service allows guests to relax and enjoy an indulgent celebratory experience. If lunch does not suit, then why not go for the Cirque du Noel Afternoon Tea and feast on a stunning selection of sandwiches, cakes and pastries? The set menu is also available for dinner or you can even contact the hotel to arrange a Cirque du Noel party night for a group. Whichever option you choose, you will be treated as a special guest and come away from this splendid venue feeling very well looked after.