Brockencote Hall, Worcestershire.
I had spent the day Christmas shopping in England`s second city, Birmingham and I was beginning to feel very stressed out around the edges, so I was looking forward to spending the evening at one of the finest luxury hotels and restaurants in the county of Worcestershire.
As I left behind the suburbs of the sprawling city and drove through the beautiful Worcestershire countryside I began to relax and look forward to a wonderful dining experience with a glass of fine wine or two! I was not going to be disappointed!
Brockencote Hall is situated in an idyllic setting, just a five-minute walk from the picturesque village of Chaddesley Corbett, proudly standing in seventy acres of its own beautiful parkland, complete with a scenic lake, tennis court and a perfectly restored half – timbered 17th century Dovecote.
I stopped the car as I drove on to the long sweeping 100m tree lined drive leading up to the former Victorian country Manor House and took a little time to soak up the vista. The grounds are well maintained and I was greeted warmly at reception by friendly, pleasant, professional and efficient staff.
Brockencote Hall was remodelled In the 1940s, following a major fire, as a French-style chateau by the Butler family of the Mitchell and Butler`s brewery. In 1985 the private Mansion House was bought as a hotel & Restaurant and thrived for twenty five years until it was purchased in 2011 by Sir Peter Rigby’s group of luxury hotels, the Eden Collection.
A multi-million pound facelift gave new life to the tired looking buildings, blending the best of the traditional features with the essential modern necessities. The elegance of the Victorian features still remains particularly in the entrance hall and the library.
The conventional conservatory has been refurbished and revitalised as the Le Colonial Bar and Lounge. The decor was inspired by colonial Indian Raj and has a graceful oak carved bar, high ceilings and impressive views of the parkland which adds an appreciation of the history and space to this striking hotel.
Unfortunately I was unable to enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in the bar or on the adjoining terrace, whilst looking out across the estate and sweeping Worcestershire countryside. The restaurant terrace has a small water feature and there is also a haha skirting the open field, preventing the sheep from entering the immediate Hotel environs.
Over pre-dinner drinks in the library, we considered the four available menus, Seasonal, Market, a seven-course Tasting menu and a vegetarian menu. The library was a comfortable area to sit and enjoy canapes and drinks.
My wife and I sat on one of the comfortable settees in front of the large open – fireplace with a single rural themed oil painting above it. There were wood panelled walls and a wall of books, some real books & others decorative.
I enjoyed a local Sadler’s of Stourbridge – Peaky Blinder Black IPA Craft Brewed (ABV 4.4%) with 5 different malts & five different Hop varieties. It was very dark beer, but delicious, refreshing and hoppy. It had a taste of orange, roasted Chocolate & Fruit Berries and gave off a smell of Fruit and Spice. My wife settled for a Slow Seducer Cocktail, a mix of Champagne, Cointreau, Raspberry Cream & Grapefruit Juice.
We were led into the spacious and elegant Chaddesley Restaurant which holds three AA Rosettes for its outstanding cuisine and has a superb collection of world class wines in a celebrated wall of wine. The Award-winning food combined with personal and attentive service helped create a superb dining experience.
The Head Chef Tim Jenkins has been at Brockencote for nine years and has recruited a talented culinary team around him, whose clear passion is food. The teams rich wealth of experience and gourmet skills is used to the maximum to produce fresh, seasonal and innovative dishes on a daily basis, some of which I enjoyed that evening.
My cooking is free flowing and natural, concentrating on delivering the best flavour possible’.
Head Chef Tim Jenkins
I decided to choose from the Market Menu opting for Home cured salmon, horseradish and potato mousse, compressed cucumber, garden radish as a starter.
I also chose a Pan roasted Pork Fillet, Piccolo parsnip, Agen Prunes and Cavolo nero with a Dark Chocolate delice, white chocolate and hazelnut macaroon with malt ice Cream as dessert.
The salmon was prepared how it should be, simply prepared and presented to perfection! I would have preferred thicker more fleshy parsnips but I absolutely loved the prunes and Cavolo Nero which were perfect vegetable partners for the fish.
My wife chose Cornish white crab meat, horseradish mayo, apple, celeriac, wood sorrel as her starter from the seasonal menu as it is low in fat but high in protein. The crab was moist with a flaky texture and had a refreshingly sweet, delicate flavour.
Her choice for main was Loin of Venison, Jerusalem Artichoke, Oxford Blue and Elderberry Jus. The Venison had a fine texture and was very lean which made the meat a little chewy for her taste but once again the food on the large white plate was a work of art, beautifully presented.
Her dessert was Warm date cake, salted toffee, coco nibs & Banana. Needless to say both desserts hit the spot and looked terrific. I am a great believer that we eat with our eyes and the beautiful presentation of all of the dishes, only reinforced that belief.
There was also a Tasting Menu available with Scallop, Pigeon, Monkfish, Venison, Rose Geranium Mousse Yoghurt, Pear and a selection of between four to six English and French artisan cheeses on offer. The limited Vegetarian menu offered two choices of a starter with Cauliflower soup and Pear Endive as a choice of starters with a Sage and parmesan gnocchi, butternut squash, cavalo nero, beurre noisette and Sweetcorn, bok choi, hasselback Mayan Gold, citrus olive oil, offered as the two alternative mains.
The wine list was extensive but we soon settled on a bottle of Argentinian Norton Malbec Bodega Reserve 2014. Round and velvety with flavours of ripe black fruit, violets, spices and tobacco. Made with 100 percent Malbec grapes. Long and complex on the finish.
Our dining experience was one to remember, not least because of the staff who were all exceptionally welcoming and helpful. The Award-winning food combined with personal and attentive service helped create a superb dining experience.
My spacious bedroom was very peaceful and comfortable room with a king sized bed, two armchairs with a table and dressing table with a chair. The décor was tasteful, traditional and beautifully appointed.
Two of the walls included large bright windows providing an unimpeded view out over the open parkland with sheep grazing and fine old trees creating a beautiful pastoral scene.
The room included a wide range of tea sachets and an Espresso coffee making machine, a Hairdryer, Flat screen Freeview Television, a Safe and most impressive of all, a large state of the art Ensuite bathroom with bath and shower, bath robes, large fluffy towels and Luxury toiletries.
There was also a turn back bedroom service offered which was completed whilst we were in the dining room. The room was also large enough to accommodate an abundance of quality, handmade furniture as well as an oversized marble fireplace.
The 5* Breakfast was worth getting up for as there was a wide selection of cereal, fresh fruit, various conserves, pain au chocolate, toasts and smoked salmon as well as the traditional full English cooked breakfast.
We could have made a weekend of it by visiting Harvington Hall, a moated Elizabethan manor house famed for its priest holes which is just a mile away, but unfortunately it closed for the winter the week before.
Maybe on my next visit to Brockencote Hall!
Christmas and the New Year Celebrations are coming to Brockencote Hall!
Cream teas and full afternoon teas are a homemade and beautifully presented selection of festive fancies, mince pies, sandwiches, cakes and scones. You can add a glass of Champagne, mulled wine or Winter Pimm’s to really get you in the Christmas spirit. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge, with a roaring log fire.
Christmas Dining: The Restaurant is the perfect setting for a festive dinner. Relax beside a roaring fire and savour our award-winning cuisine, attentive service and warm hospitality. The seasonal menu combines the rich flavours of Christmas in dishes to suit all tastes, all freshly prepared. There is also a Festive Party Night on 13th December.
Christmas Day Lunch: Enjoy Christmas Day with your family and friends in the award-winning dining room for a relaxed stress-free lunch. Arrive to Champagne and canapés, then enjoy a gourmet six course Christmas lunch in the award winning Chaddesley Restaurant. The menu consists of contemporary twists and old favourites to cater to a range of tastes, served with all the trimmings.
Boxing Day Lunch & Dinner: Relax and unwind in the tranquil countryside after the big day. Celebrate Boxing Day in the beautiful surroundings and spoil yourself with a three course family Boxing Day lunch.
New Year’s Eve Dinner Dance: A night of glamour. Arrive at 7pm for a Champagne and canapé reception as you mingle with other guests to the sounds of a string trio in Le Colonial Bar. Dinner will be served at joint tables of up to eight guests, as a live pianist and singer play in the background. This year they will be serving a very special seven course gourmet tasting menu. Dance into the early hours with live music before carriages at 1.00am.
Brockencote Hall Hotel
Chaddesley Corbett, Kidderminster, Worcestershire, DY10 4PY
t: 01562 777876
f: 01562 777872
Disclosure: My stay was courtesy of the Eden Hotel Collection. The views and comments expressed are as usual my own.