I very rarely consider visiting a hotel’s restaurant unless I’m spending the night but recently I thought I’d give it a go and I’m so pleased I did.
After some good news on Monday, my fiancé and I thought it would be a good opportunity to try the cuisine at Ascots on Oxford Street. The restaurant is based on the first floor of the very plush Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel, The Berkshire but it really is quite it’s own establishment that more than welcomes diners from outside the hotel. Just be aware that the entrance is on the side street next to Debenhams and not actually on Oxford Street like Google Maps tell you.
When we arrived it was very quiet, in fact, we were the only guests in the restaurant. This was by no means a problem and the staff member at hand was very welcoming despite my fiancé’s caveman like beard and relaxed attire. We were seated at a lovely table for two in very comfortable leather chairs and our drinks orders were taken and it wasn’t long before a few other diners came strolling in.
Though there is an a la carte menu, we opted for the 60 Years of Best of British set menu. Everything British was on it: fish and chips, apple crumble and our choices: (me) pumpkin soup, sage stuffed chicken and bakewell tart, (Moo) portobello mushrooms on toast, bubble and squeak and Pimms summer truffle. A fun and interesting selection that made me feel much more patriotic than recent events.
While we waited we were served a selection of breads. I chose the walnut loaf which had big chunks of delicious, woody walnuts and Moo opted for the plain white and a tomato roll. A dangerous dish of balsamic vinegar and oil and some unsalted butter were also left on the table, encouraging us to eat more. Each bread was light, fluffy and a great accompaniment for my soup.
The food arrived promptly and was piping hot. My soup bowl was full to bursting with bright orange, sweet soup. It was mild, thick and wonderfully warming in this chilly summer weather. I did need to add a touch of salt and pepper as it was slightly bland for me but other than that my only complaint is that it was far too big for a starter.
The service was seamless as five minutes after finishing the started, our mains arrived. My chicken was moist and the sage stuffing was very pungent and dense making me feel like I was eating a really well prepared sausage. It had a very mild sauce that just added a subtle kick to round off the dish and the creamy mashed potatoes were earthy and creamy and I thought they were delicious.
Moo gave me a bite of his bubble and squeak dish and it was really pleasant. The cake was light and fluffy but the creamy sauce saturated it too much so it had no crunch and lost its form. Great taste but a “could have done better” on balance unfortunately.
And now the dessert. Oh the dessert. I don’t often order a three course meal but as it was a special occasion, we did. I barely had any room left after the two proceeding courses but I forced myself to eat the dessert until I was too full to function. The bakewell tart was warm and lightly crispy with a very fine layer of icing that added a little crunch to the soft, melting cake. It had a runny, cherry jam centre that added a lovely sticky, tangy element that just made it perfect. The cream on the side was sweet and not too heavy but I personally don’t think it was at all necessary as the tart was complete on its own.
I had a little taste of Moo’s trifle which was light, creamy and warming with a shot of summer booze. It’s not my cup of tea but it was good dessert.
We were given our complimentary tea and coffee in individual pots and left to our own devices to talk and let the food settle.
The set meals are £25 per head for 3 courses or £19.50 for 2. Though it had its minor faults, it was a really lovely meal in a great setting and if you’re like me and appreciate a good, clean establishment, then you’ll be as happy as me.
I would definitely visit again and I think it would be a perfect location for a family meal or a quick stop off after a shopping spree.
So, how often do you guys get dinner at a hotel you’re not staying in? Would you do it?
Disclaimer: I received a £20 money off voucher for this meal but all comments are, as always, honest