Checking into Coworth Park for a bespoke menu experience

coworth park hotel and restaurant reviewCoworth Park - you're firmly in five star territory here.

What you need to know about Coworth Park

Coworth Park was opened in 2010 and is one of three Dorchester Collection hotels in the UK. It has three restaurants, 70 rooms and is set in 240 acres of pretty glorious Berkshire countryside. It's a full five star resort complete with polo fields and spa. We were here to try the newly Michelined Adam Smith's food. 

Where exactly is it?

You'll find it just down the road from the prestigious Wentworth Golf Club in leafy Berkshire. The easiest way to get there from London is a 40 minute train ride from Waterloo to Virginia Water. The local taxi service charges under a tenner to take you from the station to the hotel.

coworth park hotel and restaurant reviewThe lounge of our cottage suite - complete with real fire

Presumably, the rooms are pretty swanky?

And then some. Ours was an executive cottage suite in the former stables block which was less like a hotel room and more like our very own country cottage. A duplex twin suite, it had a ground floor lounge and dining area, complete with real fire, a patio garden, a gorgeous looking copper roll-top bath in the bedroom upstairs and - clincher this - a bottle of chilled Veuve Clicquot waiting for us on arrival.

It definitely offered more privacy being out of the main hotel building but, if the weather's lousy, it's easy to call for a golf buggy to take you up to the hotel for your dinner or drink (don't judge us...).

bedroomIf you're sharing this with a friend rather than a loved one, it's good to know there's also a separate shower room if you're not into the exposure that glorious copper bath gives.

So what's the draw for a foodie?

The restaurant here is run by chef Adam Smith, who won it a Michelin star for the first time last year. Roux scholar Smith was executive sous chef at The Ritz under John Williams and then executive chef at the Devonshire Arms before arriving here at Coworth. All of which is reason enough to come, but we were here to try a brand new service - The Taste Table.

What's so special about that menu?

It's a six-course Tasting Menu that's created bespoke for each guest. Ahead of the meal guests are asked to fill out a questionnaire to help direct the chef's efforts. We were asked about things such as our favourite food memory from childhood, what we like to cook ourselves and whether we prefer sweet or savoury foods. Adam then builds a menu based on the answers.

Here are just some of the highlights from our dinner:

roomBacon sandwich - asked what food we'd like to wake up in the morning, this is what we answered. We're very glad we didn't say overnight oats.

coworth park hotel and restaurant reviewReady salted crisps - we picked crisps as our 'guilty pleasure' in the questionnaire leading Adam to come up with this amazing course of potato crisps with cods' roe and caviar.

coworth park hotel and restaurant reviewVeal sweetbread with cauliflower, cep and white truffle - we had admitted to not being big fans of offal so this course was meant to challenge us. Trouble is we might not like brawn but we adore sweetbreads so we loved this anyway.

coworth park hotel and restaurant reviewSalt baked Yorkshire hogget with mint sauce, cheesy leeks and roast garlic. This was their interpretation of a childhood food memory of mum's garlicky roast lamb for Sunday lunch. We particularly appreciated the theatrical delivery of this dish which turned heads in the packed dining room.

coworth park hotel and restaurant reviewArbuthnot 63% chocolate with caramel ice-cream and coca streusel. Only one other chef has worked with Valrhona to make their own personalised chocolate (Anne-Sophie Pic since you ask). Adam is the second to get involved and he made full use of the hotel's own chocolate in this super fondant.

What about the wine?

Head Sommelier, Alex Gilbert-Petz was on the case, pairing wine to go with the menu which ranged from new discoveries like the 2018 Bacchus made in the London Cru Winery to a true treat in a final glass of 2008 Pomerol from Château Trotanoy to go with that lamb. Each pairing will be specific though to your own menu.

So what is there to do when you're not being wined and dined?

We popped along to the spa for a go in the steam room and a short swim (once the children's hour was up) but the best bit for us was the next morning going for a long walk in the gorgeous grounds. If you're up for any activities you can book a leisurely hack on one of the hotel's eight horses, go mountain biking or even try duck (or geese) herding.

coworth park hotel and restaurant reviewFancy getting out and about? How about going geese herding on one of the hotel's polo fields?

The morning after the night before

Frankly, we were still stuffed after our dinner, and just about managed some smoked salmon and scrambled eggs in the hotel's more casual restaurant. If we'd been clever, we'd have stayed in our lovely cottage and ordered the Japanese breakfast from room service - a bit of tofu and broth would have been just the ticket.

breakfastSevern & Wye smoked salmon with scrambled eggs and chives. 

Overall thoughts:

We were blown away by both the thoughtfulness and creativity of our bespoke menu at Coworth Park, particularly given that they'd only had a few days to come up with it. It's pricey, for sure, but such a personalised experience like this would make an excellent thing to book for a special birthday or anniversary. Very much recommended.


More about Coworth Park

Where is it? Blacknest Rd, Sunningdale, Ascot SL5 7SE

Useful info: The Taste Table experience costs from £200 per person for a minimum of eight and maximum of 14 guests dining. To book contact Restaurant Coworth Park directly by calling 01344 876 600 or emailing reservations.CPA@dorchestercollection.com. Rooms from December start from £455 for a room based on two people sharing, including breakfast.

Find out more: Visit their website or follow them on Instagram @CoworthParkUK.


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