Editor Sophie Ritchie visits Restaurant Coworth Park in Ascot for a night of Michelin-studded dishes in swish countryside surrounds
A restaurant with Romeo and Jus-liet enchantment, Restaurant Coworth Park is as perfect as it gets when it comes to date night dining. When I arrive at 6pm, dusk has already been and gone, leaving Coworth Park hotel surrounded by darkness and twinkling lights that illuminate the building in a soft, pearly glow.
London’s barely an hour away, easily reachable by train or wheels, which makes this countryside gem ideal for a Saturday night outing. I get here by the former, leaving my car parked on the private road outside (the car park is filled to the brim thanks to a private wedding reception).
I walk through the large doors into the grand main entrance, to find myself greeted by a friendly team who already know my name – which is slightly disconcerting but a rather nice touch – before being lead to the restaurant for the evening’s fine dining performance.
A grandly refined space, walking into the restaurant reveals a room filled with pristine white linen tables and burnished orange chairs. It’s the dramatic oak leaf chandelier which really catches my eye – sitting suspended above the furniture like a Roman emperor’s wreath.
There’s no doubt that this is an elegant restaurant – but it’s the swiftly moving team of staff that bring it to life. They manoeuvre through the room like a choreographed routine as I sit and peruse the menu with my guest, making sure each table has topped up water and correct courses.
The Food & Drink
Things kick off with a welcoming glass of Champagne – Laurent-Perrier rosé Champagne, to be exact, with berry hues and swirl of rosy bubbles.
When it comes to ordering, I really appreciate that the team not only already know my dietary requirements (yes, I’m always the fussy one) but also recommend dishes I can have – and more importantly, will like.
We peruse the menu – a list of ingredient-led dishes with plenty of British fare – which displays the likes of Cotswold White Chicken and Highland Wagyu. It’s pleasing to see a range of non-meat dishes too – there’s a Celeriac and Truffle Pie, as well as an intriguing Hen-of-the-woods calling my name before I close the array of chef Adam Smith’s temptations.
For starters, I begin with sea scallop – deliciously sliced medallions of fish arranged together in a circle of succulent pearly fish – cooked to perfection and melting like butter in my mouth.
My guest opted for the Langoustine, which arrives as a duo of skewers accompanied with cauliflower, citrus and white truffle for a surprisingly zesty bite.
For mains, I’m back in the water with another fish dish. I try the delicate Cornish Turbot paired with ceps, nasturtium and Champagne. Like all exquisite things, it’s very simple – presented upon the plate with glistening white meat and a simple salad garnish. It’s also served with a glass of, surprising, red – which gives beautiful warmth to the meaty flavours.
Onto the final course of the night – dessert. Although it’s not one for the dairy-free crowd, my dining companion orders the Valrhona milk chocolate with silky hazelnut ice cream. It arrives with such a velvety gleam that my eyes glaze over as much as its exterior – with shards of edible gold foil that complete the masterpiece. A soon untenanted plate confirms that it tasted every bit as good as it looked.
The Wordrobe Verdict
Elegant interiors, welcoming staff and delicious dishes that’ll leave you wishing you’d learned to chew slower. At Coworth Park, quality comes before quantity and it shows – or in this case, shines.
Words by Sophie Ritchie, editor