England/ Oxfordshire

Sunday roast in Oxfordshire, Aylesbury – Heartwell House

May 5, 2012
  • Restaurant: Heartwell House
  • Cuisine: English
  • Location: Aylesbury, Oxfordshire – 1h from central London
  • The bill: £100 including 2 glasses of wine and service
  • Value for money: 5/10
  • Service: 10/10
  • Ambiance: 9/10 – Wow factor due to historic venue
  • Food: 7.5/10
  • Jelly Good Food Rating: 7.5/10

Hartwell House is about as quintessentially English as you can get – its a destination restaurant, set  in  a 17th-century former stately home, boasting  90 acres of landscaped parkland.  Its AA rosette rated and is in the good food guide, with their head chef being Daniel Richardson, formerly of “Le Gavroche.”

Come here and pretend that you are in a Jane Austen novel – call your fellow diner Mr Darcy and only respond to Miss Bennett, stare dreamily out of the window between courses and sigh.  When asked if you would care for some wine, don’t forget to  blush.

Le Review:

Menu is very English to match the venue and does not venture very far from traditional classics.  All dishes are well prepared and served on antique crockery with silverware to match.  Its very quiet and formal in here, phones must be switched off.

We were here for the Sunday Luncheon consisting of 3 courses  and ordered this –

  • Cream of purple sprouting broccoli soup with almond fritters, curry foam
  • Ham Hock pasta parcels with peas
  • Roast sirloin of Oxfordshire beef, roast potatoes, root vegetable purée, cauliflower cheese, winter vegetables, Yorkshire pudding and red wine jus x2
  • Selection of British cheeses
I have to mention that the soup was very mild and bland for my taste but that the roast beef was perfectly pink and tender, although really needed more gravy.  Ham hock pasta was served beautifully while roast strawberries desert didn’t really look all that for this calibre of restaurant – though tasted fine.

Make sure to request  that your coffee is served in one of the drawing rooms instead of the main dining room, these are beautiful and you can admire the views of the impressive gardens.

Apparently these guys also do afternoon teas, which sounds like a very fitting thing to do here.

Jelly Good Food Bottom Line:

Makes for a different dining out experience and will be memorable due to the impressive stately home, more so than because of the food.  Menu itself a little boring for the spoiled Londoners who are used to twists on the classics and try hard chefs,  but food  is faultlessly prepared.

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