The Dining Room at Whatley Manor
Head to Whatley Manor for complete indulgence where food is clearly a passion. Tucked away in the lush countryside of the Cotswolds, near the idyllic village of Malmesbury, Whatley boasts 23 newly decorated bedrooms, 12 acres of English country gardens, a spa and three dining experiences.
Take a seat at the tapas bar in The Green Room where you can chat to the chefs as they prepare small plate dishes in front of you. Grey’s Brasserie is ideal for dinner or a leisurely Sunday lunch, while The Dining Room caters for those special occasions. The Dining Room is overseen by executive chef Niall Keating, beholder of a Michelin star and a 7/10 grade in The Good Food Guide by Waitrose & Partners.
Rather than offering a tasting menu, Keating has compiled a true dining experience; a culinary journey of unforgettable destinations. Niall describes his food as modern British, but it’s also influenced by his worldwide travels. You’re invited into the heart of the kitchen for one of the courses, and some dishes are brought to the table by the chefs themselves, who explain the culinary process that goes into creating them. The menu is varied and interesting, truly an exploration for the senses. To study the menu in advance might take something away from the experience; it’s better to arrive with an open mind and an expectation of pleasure, and to let Niall’s innovation surprise you as the evening unfolds. From risotto chorizo to the complex flavour of squid ink tortellini, one of Niall’s signature dishes, and wagyu, kohlrabi, date and ssamjang, Niall’s menu is a masterpiece. Charming touches like the warm, freshly baked sourdough bread served with brown butter buttermilk are comforting and familiar, while other courses will open your mind to new flavours and textures. The matching wine flight makes for a truly superlative dining experience, and one that will be remembered for all the right reasons.
As you’d expect from an establishment of this calibre, service is second to none. The informed team is attentive yet unobtrusive – when we visited, we dined and were treated like kings.