Mark Hix is director of food at this stylish hotel dining room (Lee Streeton is executive chef), and his influence can be seen in the modern British menu and also in the modern British art.
The wood-panelled room is a relaxing and attractive place in which to eat, and staff are attentive (quick to proffer spare reading glasses, for example) without being obsequious.
Compared to previous meals here, a midweek dinner lacked a certain something: deep-fried Cornish lamb’s sweetbreads with whipped peas, smoked bacon and a poached Burford Brown egg was excellent, but mixed beets with ragstone goat’s cheese and wild herbs, although pretty, lacked oomph; heritage tomato and lovage salad was similarly timid.
Mains had more character: fish and chips brought a lightly battered chunk of coley, plus superb chips and light pea purée; a sizeable chargrilled Halesworth pork chop with marrow, capers and anchovies also pleased. Only Newlyn monkfish curry disappointed – the bland fish not helped by a one-dimensional curry.
To finish: ginger parkin was more sticky toffee pud than a parkin, but nonetheless good; lemon jelly with lemon curd sorbet was a big hit; gooseberry fool with shortbread was average. Better than all of them were the chocolate truffle petits fours. But even with this slightly uneven experience, we still had a great evening in one of London’s more enjoyable hotel restaurants.