spoon

My AA Report 2013

Category : Chef, Main, Reviews, Work

Colettes 3 AA Rosettes
Colette’s at The Grove
Chandler’s Cross
RICKMANSWORTH
WD3 4TG
3 AA Rosette Restaurant

A comprehensively equipped modern spa hotel only minutes from the M25, The Grove is on hand to provide all the smoothing of feathers that life in the nearby metropolis has ruffled up. It’s a Georgian mansion house with golf and mudpacks according to taste in relaxation, and a pair of options for dining: the informal Stables (see separate entry) and Colette’s, the fine-dining alternative. Done in today’s preferred pastel shades, it makes a neutral but soothing backdrop for Russell Bateman’s culinary pyrotechnics, which come in the form of variously proportioned menus given names from the aesthetic repertoire: Haiku, Sonnet and Symphony, depending on whether you’re in the market for a bit of Basho, a shot of Shakespeare or the full Mahler. An organic walled garden supplies much of the fresh produce, and the style is about using technical innovation to emphasise natural flavours. Roast Landes foie gras with carrot ketchup and nasturtiums is one eye-catching way to start, as is venison tartare with pickled pear, 100% cocoa and parsnip. Thus primed, the relative classicism of Cotswold chicken roasted with Périgord truffle stuffed under the skin and an enriching note from Vacherin cheese comes as a more than pleasant surprise. Cauliflower variations (pickled, roasted and raw) add the requisite note of modernity. Red meats are subjected to complexes of flavours as when Cornish lamb is tricked out with artichokes, pomegranate, ceps and marjoram, while the currently fashionable pairing of chicken wings and fish (in this case turbot) is buttressed by leeks, salsify, chestnuts and tarragon. Apple varieties from the orchard – Cox, Russet, Braeburn and Granny Smith – get a thorough workout in a dessert plate that combines poached, diced, creamed and sorbet elements, together with caramel jelly, or there could be an assemblage of manjari chocolate, Valencia orange, brioche, olive oil and sea salt.

My AA Report 2012

Category : Main, News, Reviews, Work

Colettes 3 AA RosettesQueen Victoria and Edward VII were both rather partial to dropping in on this estate for the weekend when London’s charms began to pall. It wasn’t far away even in those days, but with the capital’s onward sprawl, it seems practically a stone’s throw from the West End. What you get is a large country-estate hotel, with all mod cons (spa treatments and golf), and an understated restaurant in soothing beige with smartly dressed tables, artfully positioned mirrors and polished service. Russell Bateman has honed a profoundly accomplished style of modern cooking here, imbued with his own personal stamp, while respecting the quality of the raw materials he works with. Dishes are composed of many interlocking elements, as witness an opener of Lincolnshire pork teamed with smoked eel, alongside a slice of foie gras and apple terrine. Another might see roast scallops against a southeast Asian array of peanuts, radish and lime. Moving on to the main course, the stakes are raised still further, perhaps for an assiette of locally farmed veal (the fillet, breast, sweetbread and tongue), served with cauliflower and spinach in aged balsamic, while a brill dish becomes a seafood-lover’s dream date, encompassing cockles, clams, an oyster ravioli and caviar cream, not to mention some leek and turnip towards your five-a-day. The seven-course tasting menu is the leisurely way to go. Desserts don’t stint on creativity either, perhaps offering parsnip and cardamom cake with blood orange and white chocolate, or spiced banana tart with toasted coconut and passionfruit and a banana sorbet – 3 Rosettes

My AA Report 2011

Category : News, Reviews, Work

The Grove describes itself as ‘London’s cosmopolitan country estate’, and it lives up to the billing. It is within the M25 for a start, so an easy hop to central London, and a refurbishment in 2004 led to a serious contemporary makeover. As for the country estate bit, well, it stands in 300 acres of beautiful grounds, including a championship golf course. The 18th-century house fits the bill, too, being grand enough to carry the ambitions of the management. The former stables have been converted into a relaxed brasserie-style restaurant, while the fine dining action takes place in Colette’s, with its comfortably modern furnishings and funky wooden art on the walls. Head chef Russell Bateman produces classy modern European food with a high level of technique and an eye for appealing presentations. Snail lasagne with celeriac cream makes for a refined starter, while main-course partridge comes with sweetcorn purée, shallots, sprouts and a sticky bacon jus. The flair for balancing flavours continues at dessert stage with a luscious chocolate and chestnut fondant ably supported by coffee ice cream. Service is appropriately professional but there is nothing stuffy about Colette’s. – 3 Rosettes

My AA report 2010

Category : News, Reviews, Work

The Grove may be within the M25, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way when you’re there. The 300 acre grounds of this grand 18th-century stately residence are now home to a championship golf course and fine formal gardens, each enjoying beautiful views over Charlotte’s Vale. The house itself has been transformed into a world-class, contemporary hotel, which successfully combines historic character with cutting-edge modern design. There is a smart spa, a relaxing bar and lounge, and a choice of three restaurants. Colette’s is the fine dining, evening-only option, with its own separate entrance and stylish lounge and bar. The dining room is smart and slick with cream leather chairs, darkwood floor and the walls painted a dignified mustard-yellow. With service on the formal side, dinner includes all the extras from canapés in the bar through to pre-dessert and petits fours, and quality remains high throughout. The cooking is modern and accomplished, with great dish construction and visual impact too. The flair and imagination of the kitchen team under the guidance of new chef Russell Bateman is clearly evident. – 3 Rosettes

The Grove may be within the M25, but it certainly doesn’t feel that way when you’re there. The 300 acre grounds of this grand 18th-century stately residence are now home to a championship golf course and fine formal gardens, each enjoying beautiful views over Charlotte’s Vale. The house itself has been transformed into a world-class, contemporary hotel, which successfully combines historic character with cutting-edge modern design. There is a smart spa, a relaxing bar and lounge, and a choice of three restaurants. Colette’s is the fine dining, evening-only option, with its own separate entrance and stylish lounge and bar. The dining room is smart and slick with cream leather chairs, darkwood floor and the walls painted a dignified mustard-yellow. With service on the formal side, dinner includes all the extras from canapés in the bar through to pre-dessert and petits fours, and quality remains high throughout. The cooking is modern and accomplished, with great dish construction and visual impact too. The flair and imagination of the kitchen team under the guidance of new chef Russell Bateman is clearly evident.