in a nutshell
Nestled away in acres of woodland, Hampton Manor offers cosy sophistication in the heart of the country. It’s also home to Peel’s, a three-AA-rosette restaurant, which has been tipped to be the next recipient of a Michelin star in the Midlands.
Local head chef Rob Palmer was inspired to pursue his passion of cooking after spending his childhood baking scones with his nan. Since then he has worked alongside some of the country’s finest chefs including the restaurant’s former head chef (who himself trained at The Connaught) Martyn Pearn, who fuelled Rob’s love of classical cooking.
what are they cooking
Peel’s prides itself on using local and home-grown produce to create food, that mixes the simplicity of traditional recipes with the modern refinement of contemporary cooking. There is no longer a lunch menu on offer, meaning the six strong kitchen team concentrate all their efforts on their four- and seven-course evening tasting menus alongside an a la carte selection, served five nights a week.
A relaxed yet professional feel is evident throughout the hotel. The young and vibrant team have shunned the suits for jeans and tweed jackets and provide attentive and refined service with an impressive catalogue of knowledge on what they are serving.
Like much of the Manor, the gorgeous dining room is filled with dark woods and lined with contemporary hand-painted Fromental wallpaper: it’s grand, but not stuffy in the slightest. There’s also an intimate oak-panelled tasting room, which overlooks the open kitchen and can host private dining parties of up to eight.
Our four-course taster menu began with a simple yet striking selection of canapés including a cheese custard and a pickled onion tartare. These were served in the recently renovated parlour, my favourite spot in the Manor.
Next, we were served a plate of fresh white and green asparagus teamed with slow-cooked egg yolk and creamy burrata, finished off with crunchy chicken skin. A fish course was deliciously fresh and came with smoked sea trout with a trout mousse, crème fraiche, dill pickle, cucumber and particularly good caviar.
For main, a hearty British piece of Wagyu beef was as rich and flavoursome as they come and came paired with cauliflower cheese, red cabbage and truffle shavings. A nitro-frozen chocolate mousse with a caramel cookie crumble, chocolate custard and hazelnut ice cream was moreishly rich.
Head sommelier Danielle Carr is passionate about heading off the beaten track with her wine list and this has resulted in the in-house cellar being filled with a dazzling choice of great-value choices from wine regions across the globe.
Peel’s offer a great pairing service with its taster menus and if wine isn’t your thing there are also a number of specialist gins, a craft beer specials board and a small but delicious cocktail list available – the Mad Hatter is one not to miss.
The 15 individually designed rooms, which are in the process of being refurbished, each give a nod to a friend or figure in the manor’s history. The bathrooms, created by award-winning designer Sarah Ireland, are a highlight with heated floors, rolltop baths and tasteful mosaic designs.
Despite its traditional shell, Hampton Manor is a modern and vibrant hotel committed to offering guests the best. Inventive menus, exceptional service and attention to detail give it a real charm.
Hampton Manor Hotel
Hampton in Arden
Written by Charlotte Philpotts (amuchprettierpuzzle.com), images provided by Hampton Manor
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