The Brasserie Restaurant
Aldwark Manor Golf & Spa Hotel, Aldwark, Nr. Alne, North Yorkshire, YO61 1UF
After driving through the maze of lovely villages of North Yorkshire, over bridges and through scenery you might find on the front cover of a classic novel, it seemed that our destination was sure to be one of beauty. Our expectations were surpassed at the first glimpse of Aldwark Manor as we wound through the golf course, seeing the grand Victorian house rise out of acre upon acre of picturesque greenery. We were warmly greeted and directed to the restaurant by reception staff, passing many lavishly decorated rooms on the way. The restaurant itself is elegantly decorated with sparkling silver and neatly folded napkins, and staff were friendly and obliging; our glasses were never left empty. To start I chose the house-cured gravadlax of salmon with a honey and mustard dressing - a small and delicate but deftly satisfying taste of the skill of the chefs behind this restaurant. To follow, I opted for roasted lamb rump with mash, green beans and rosemary jus. Each item was individually prepared to achieve excellence; the lamb showed a subtle pink centre and the mash was fluffy and light. My partner chose chicken liver parfait and wholemeal toast with red onion chutney to start - a wonderfully generous portion, thoroughly enjoyed - with a sea-fresh, poached Whitby smoked haddock with creamed potato, grain mustard velouté, peas and spinach to follow. For me, dessert came in the form of a warm chocolate brownie with malted chocolate ice cream and caramel sauce. My partner's more healthy option of pannacotta with poached summer fruits featured an array of brightly coloured seasonal fruits and fruit coulis. The entire meal was a delight, and we were soon planning our next visit. Perhaps next time we'll climb the spectacular central staircase to a beautiful bedroom in the old manor, or retire to a stylish room in the contemporary wing. With its exceptional golfing and spa facilities, wonderful historic architecture mingling with ultra-modern design, and a restaurant of absolute quality, Aldwark Manor provides an unmissable experience.