I have stayed a number of times at the wonderful hotel in the past year or so and love to use my visits as an excuse to sit in the atmospheric, cosy brasserie which serves delicious, often highly comforting but stylishly served food, glugging down one of the gins from its wonderful available range and a glass of one of the enjoyable wines on offer. If I lived locally I should want to know about this place and go there rather often.
On my recent three night stay, I ate in the Brasserie all three evenings and thoroughly enjoyed myself. A glance at the menu gives the impression of a quite highly-priced range of food on offer but when one's plate arrives and one tucks in to the food on it, it's pretty clear that the food is very fairly priced.
There is a good choice of food on the menu but I've rather fallen in love with the wonderful looking pies and the fish and chips. One night, I had beef and mushroom pie - the splendidly glazed pastry covering the dish was hiding a very generous amount of beautifully tender beef beneath it in some nice gravy with tasty mushrooms and it was all served with honey drizzled vegetables which were a nice complement to the pie even if honey-covered broccoli and cauliflower seem to be a little unusual. I followed up with a delicious and pleasingly light parfait.
The next night was my fish and chip night. The fish on offer was the most perfectly cooked, snowy white, meaty cod in the most deliciously golden and crispy batter and it was served along with highly respectable chips, a little dab of mushy peas and a dish of fine tartare sauce. Better cod and chips than these would be hard to find throughout the land. My dessert, a perfectly runny-centred chocolate and salted caramel fondant, made the evening just about perfect.
Evening 3 - a starter of delightful carrot and coriander soup of a perfect thickness - served perhaps just a little too prettily in a bowl - I would have liked a little more soup in the bowl if only because it was so tasty and comforting on a cold, blowy, dark February evening. The soup was served by two sensibly-sized pieces of fresh tasty bread. Then a chicken pie - again lots of tasty, nicely-cooked meat under a lovely pastry roof. No room left for pudding sadly.
I think the service in the brasserie is excellent - the waiters and waitresses are charming, friendly but polite and professional, helpful and service does not appear to be slow at all (sometimes Tripadvisors seem to forget that you have to allow time for fresh food to actually be cooked and it doesn't just reach perfection in the space of a couple of minutes so that the waiter can come flying out like a boomerang with a course which has appeared instantly).
I also like the service at the bar and the excellent drinks conjured up by the knowledgeable young bar staff.
Well done Ellenborough Park Brasserie.
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