Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park
Lucknam Park is in its own tranquil world. As we drove along the tree-lined drive under a blanket of stars, the dreamy Palladian mansion surrounded by 500 beautiful acres set a spectacular scene that had us captivated from the very beginning. Lucknam Park is breathtaking inside and out: the seductive mix of traditional glamour and timeless luxury let us truly leave the outside world behind, so when we were welcomed into the quiet hush of the Drawing Room, an air of calm washed over us. Fine furnishings, fresh posies, gilt mirrors and oil paintings whisked us back in time as we sipped expertly mixed cocktails and tucked into an excellent amuse-bouche.
Once in the calming restaurant, my rich, creamy Jerusalem artichoke velouté arrived first, topped with soft Elbridge quail’s eggs, melted leeks and flavours of truffle. Across the table, my partner’s fresh citrus-cured salmon carefully paired with earthy beetroot, sweet apple and punchy horseradish, indicated the level of care put into each dish. The precision and outstanding flavour combinations continued.
For the main event, rolls of lasagne encasing sweet butternut squash, textures of pine nuts and a sharp hit of sage were punctuated by soft onions and foraged mushrooms, and reminded me of forest rambles. My guest’s rosy pink Brecon lamb cooked two ways melted in the mouth and was exquisitely paired with wine as smooth as the service. Our refreshing pre-dessert – sorbet dipped in white chocolate – was just what we needed before the sweet finale. The punchy poached pineapple and fragrant mango sorbet offset my delicate, creamy toasted coconut cheesecake perfectly. My guest’s much-anticipated rich Guanaja chocolate crémeux was a real highlight, with innovative rosemary and olive oil ice cream and a tart hit of Tulameen raspberries completing the expertly composed sweet treat.
Afterwards, we relished petits fours – of which the delicate chocolate macaroon with lemon curd was our favourite – and coffee, taking in our incredible experience; nothing was rushed yet the service was seamless. I’ll be returning to stay in one of the elegant 42 bedrooms and savour a relaxing treatment in the spa before indulging in a meal in the more casual brasserie, which is tucked away in the landscaped walled gardens. Having retained a Michelin star since 2006, there’s no doubt that Lucknam Park is still at the top of its game.