Colette’s Review in Good Food Guide 2014

Category : Chef, News, Reviews, Work

Colettes Restaurant in the Good Food Guide
The Grove, Colette’s
Ingredients-led passion in a Georgian Mansion
Chandler’s Cross, WD3 4TG
Tel no: (01923) 296010
Modern British | £75
Cooking score: 6

A fetching Georgian mansion overlooking a bit of Hertfordshire known as Charlotte’s Vale, the Grange [sic] provides the settings and the amenities (including an organic walled garden) for Russell Bateman’s wide-ranging fixed-price menus of British Cooking.

Batemans’s passion radiates out from both the master classes he gives and his culinary repertoire. It’s the kind of food that’s focused on the quality of its component parts, rather than cheffy fussiness, though there’s no lack of innovation on display. Poached Fowey oysters served with an oyster mushroom and foie gras in mushroom broth, has proved a hit with reporters, as has the relatively simple but sublime main course of Cotswold white chicken with cauliflower, Vacherin and truffle in poultry jus. Fish from the South West or Scotland is top-notch – perhaps brill with seaweed, sea kale, pickled clams and salsify – and desserts such as blood-orange tart with cardamom ice cream end things on a flourish. Intermediate courses, breads and cheeses all add lustre, as does the list of superb if expensive wines. Glasses start at £7.50, bottles £27.

Chef: Russell Bateman.
Open: Tue to Sat D 6.30 to 9.30
Closed: Sun and Mon.
Meals: Set D £65. Tasting Menu £85 (7 Courses)
Service: not inc.
Details: 42 seats. Separate bar.  Wheelchair access. Car parking. Children over 12 yrs only
Taken from Good Food Guide 2014

In everyday life a 6/10 score might seem mediocre, this is certainly not the case with The Good Food Guide. They only include the best restaurants in their guide, and even then will only score the best of those. In this years guide, only 34 restaurants scored above 6 which I hope qualifies why my team and I are so excited by the result.

1 – Capable cooking, with simple food combinations and clear flavours, but some inconsistencies.
2 – Decent cooking, displaying good basic technical skills and interesting combinations and flavours. Occasional inconsistencies.
3 – Good cooking, showing sound technical skills and using quality ingredients.
4 – Dedicated, focused approach to cooking; good classical skills and high-quality ingredients.
5 – Exact cooking techniques and a degree of ambition; showing balance and depth of flavour in dishes, while using quality ingredients.
6 – Exemplary cooking skills, innovative ideas, impeccable ingredients and an element of excitement.
7 – High level of ambition and individuality, attention to the smallest detail, accurate and vibrant dishes.
8 – A kitchen cooking close to or at the top of its game – highly individual, showing faultless technique and impressive artistry in dishes that are perfectly balanced for flavour, combination and texture. There is little room for disappointment here.
9 – This mark is for cooking that has reached a pinnacle of achievement, making it a hugely memorable experience for the diner.
10 – It is extremely rare that a restaurant can achieve perfect dishes on a consistent basis.



Colette’s Review in Good Food Guide 2012

Category : Main, News, Reviews, Work

The Grove, Colette’s
Star-struck venue with eye popping food
Chandler’s Cross, WD3 4TG
Tel no: (01923) 807807


Modern British | £65
Cooking score: 5

These days, the sleek, glossy Grove is synonymous with a certain sort of stardom, and there may be gasps of ‘OMG!’ given the celebrity count here – it’s a home-from-home for football’s moneyed aristocracy, after all. As the hotel’s flagship restaurant, Colette’s puts on a suitably ostentatious show, with a ‘sexy’ bar area, huge canvases and abstract sculptures in the dining room. Prices are pitched at premiership WAGs rather than fans on the terraces, and the supremely confident kitchen aims to dazzle. Continue Reading

Colette’s Review in Good Food Guide 2010

Category : News, Reviews, Work

The Grove, Colette’s
Out to make an impact
Chandler’s Cross, WD3 4TG
Tel no: (01923) 807807
Modern European | £58
Cooking score: 5

On a clear night you can see Watford’s urban fluorescence glowing in the distance as you stroll around this sprawling hotel complex. Built for the Earls of Clarendon, the Grove’s original porticoed mansion now houses its top-end restaurant, and the lofty dining room still feels like an illustrious ‘weekend in the country’ destination. Everything here is larger than life, from huge canvases and abstract sculptures to a fantastical chandelier of epic proportions. Chef Russell Bateman arrived in 2009 from the Feathers Hotel,Woodstock and he is out to make an impact. A starter of creamy lamb’s sweetbreads with deep-fried palourdes and crisp parsnip ribbons is given some peppery bite with tiny nasturtium leaves, while the summery sweetness of steamed Scottish lobster tail is offset by astringent lemon thyme, artichokes and baby fennel. Ideas are complex, ingredients top-drawer and flavours neatly judged, although novelties occasionally fall flat bland chocolate polenta added nothing
to a dish of pigeon breasts with baby beetroot, spring cabbage and ‘bubble and squwark’ (sic). Finally, the kitchen dons its joker’s hat for a startling dessert involving violet mousse, blueberries and Laurent Perrier jelly topped with nuggets of excited popping candy that explode like hyperactive fizz bubbles in the mouth. Busy, name-tagged staff in dapper grey outfits are ‘a tad too eager to please’, and the wine list includes many exceptional bottles. Prices start at £28.

Chef: Russell Bateman.
Open: Tue to Sat D 7 to 9.30 (and Sun D on bank hols).
Closed: Sun (except bank holidays), Mon. Meals: Set D £57.75.
Service: 12.5% (optional).
Details: Cards accepted. 40 seats. Air-con. Separate bar. Wheelchair access. Music. Children allowed. Car parking.

Taken from Good Food Guide 2010