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.



Harpers Bazaar Review

Category : Chef, Main, Reviews, Work

Contemporary fine dining in an 18th century location

The buzz

Set in a sophisticated dining room with high ceilings and ornate 18th century mouldings, in the heart of the five-star Grove Hotel, Colette’s offers a luxury fine dining experience. Run under the watchful eye of innovative head chef Russell Bateman, the restaurant is known for its creative style and cosmopolitan approach to mixing flavours and spices.

The lowdown

On arrival our waiter informed us that the chef ‘doesn’t speak much, he speaks through his food.’ It wasn’t until the first dish arrived that we knew what he meant. Attention to detail and a variety of delicious flavours is what makes the menu at Colette’s stand out – each portion is a masterpiece, both on the plate and on the tongue.

Fresh, home-grown produce can be tasted in every dish. If you’re staying at The Grove, a walk around the hotel’s Walled Garden is a must, simply to admire the sprouting vegetable patch where Colette’s grows it’s own ingredients – you may even spot Russell picking the fruit and veg to use that very evening.

Perfect for…

Special occasions. Begin with cocktails and nibbles in the bar before making your way into the elegant restaurant for dinner. You’ll be treated like royalty and every dish is divine – the experience itself is worth toasting.

Menu highlights

Bazaar opted for the Sonnet tasting menu which features six dishes including Scottish Beef Tartare and Warm Manjari Chocolate Mousse. Our reigning dish was the warm Cotswold white chicken with cauliflower and carrots, which can also be enjoyed as an a la carte main. Perigord truffle and expert seasoning brought this plate of simple sounding ingredients to life – if we recommend one dish it has to be this.

For a whole new experience try the Oolong Tea Menu. Whether you have as an alternative to the wine-pairing, served alongside your meal, or as an after-dinner palate-cleanser, this gives new meaning to the traditional cuppa.

Final word

Colette’s are proud hosts to a series of food Master Classes where head chef Russell Bateman shares his top tips and tricks to preparing, cooking and serving a range of dishes. Each hour long class focuses on one seasonal ingredient and includes lunch and wine tasting in the restaurant as well as your own Colette’s apron and recipe folder.

by Rosie Reeves / 12 April 2013 /

Taken from: Harpers Bazaar

My AA Report 2013

Category : Chef, Main, Reviews, Work

Colettes 3 AA Rosettes
Colette’s at The Grove
Chandler’s Cross
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.

Colette’s Review in Good Food Guide 2013

Category : Main, Reviews

The Grove, Colette’s
Bag’s of impact and Artistry
Chandler’s Cross, WD3 4TG
Tel no: (01923) 296015


Modern British | £65
Cooking score: 5

Now infamous as a playground for footballers and their wives, the sprawling Grove complex started life as an ‘out of town’ bolt-hold for the Earls of Clarendon. The old aristocracy wouldn’t recognise the place now, especially if they stumbled into Colette’s – a bespoke restaurant emblazoned with huge canvases, sculptures and fantastical chandeliers.

It may be OTT, but supporters reckon that chef Russell Bateman is at the ‘top of his game’ delivering highly complex ideas with bags of impact and atistry. He is also fleshing out his network of dedicated suppliers and plundering the Grove’s walled garden for seasonal pickings – how about a pretty plate of poached and roasted lobster with heirloom carrots, purple potato, funnel and star anise, or ‘eight-spice’ squab pigeon with turnip, rocket and honey from the estate? Elsewhere, organic pork gets the jerk treatment with pineapple coconut and coriander, and Cumbrian rose veal appears as a tartare with brioche, winter truffles, mustard and quail’s egg yolk. Finally, the kitchen puts on its party hat for desserts such as rose and pistachio meringue with rhubarb and rose scented creme anglaise.

The comprehensive wine list deserves a cheer for its commitment to small ‘handmade’ produces and organic/biodynamic names, although it’s bedevilled by premiership prices. House selections start at £27 (£7.50 a glass)

Chef: Russell Bateman.
Open: Tue to Sat D 6.30 to 100
Closed: Sun and Mon.
Meals: Set D £65. Tasting Menu £80 (7 Courses)
Service: not inc.
Details: 42 seats. Separate bar.  Wheelchair access. Music. Car parking. Children over 12 yrs only
Taken from Good Food Guide 2013

Discover The Grove’s hidden gem – Colette’s

Category : Main, Reviews

Almond FinancierI drive along a long and winding road and over a tiny bridge, passing fields and a golf course, and then a large impressive building comes into view – The Grove.

The five star hotel is now firmly established on various ‘best hotel’ lists around the world, but I am going to its fine dining restaurant – Colette’s, which has yet to become as famous.

Its head chef Russell Bateman agrees.
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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