As breathtakingly beautiful Cotswolds retreats go, Whatley Manor is unbeatable. The stunning country manor house is, quite simply, majestic. Home to 23 bedrooms, the Aquarias Spa, a 40-seat cinema, Grey’s Brasserie and the acclaimed restaurant, The Dining Room, Whatley Manor has everything you might need.

Rather than offering a tasting menu, executive head chef Niall Keating has compiled a true dining experience; a culinary journey of unforgettable destinations. Some dishes are even delivered to your table by the chefs, who explain the components of the dish and give an insight into the culinary process behind it. Contemporary and classic styles are balanced in Niall’s use of ingredients and presentation, but his well-travelled background also shows through in Asian influences. Seated in front of a roaring fire, with a Whatley Manor raspberry and Champagne cocktail in hand, we browsed the exquisite menu and sampled an appetiser of spiced cracker with sesame and lime. The fresh flavours and delightful texture proved the perfect prelude to the dining experience. The menu is varied and interesting, truly an exploration for the senses. As we journeyed through, we repeatedly proclaimed each course the favourite – needless to say, you’re in for a treat. From light oysters with wonderfully fresh, tangy seaweed mignonette, to the complex flavour of squid ink tortellini and blissfully tender aged beef loin, Niall’s menu is a masterpiece. The matching wine flight made for a truly superlative dining experience, and one that will be remembered for all the right reasons.

Hannah Burton

Hannah is a keen foodie with a passion for travel, books and history. She regularly creeps out the office with her weird crushes (Mr Tumnis and Thomas Cromwell, among others) and is a lover of fun facts, punnery and quizzes.

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