Friday, 18 July 2014

Great Fosters

When it was suggested that we pop out for a spot of lunch on Friday, I didn't need asking twice.
I knew the perfect place within striking distance, that had long been on my hit list.

Great Fosters is an immaculately preserved grade one listed building set amongst 50 acres of incredible gardens and parkland in Egham, Surrey.

Built in 1555 and used as a Royal hunting lodge by Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I and the Wizard Earl - Henry Percy, Great Fosters has remained a stately home for a plethora of nobility. The house is now a prestigious 43 bedroom romantic luxury hotel. Sympathetically converted in the 1930s and possessing a wealth of beautiful architectural detailing including the rare oak stairwell, stone mullion and transom windows, Jacobean fireplaces and the notable wicket door through which you enter the property one person at a time.

The ornate, dark plasterwork ceiling of the main hall
owes its rich burnished patina to centuries of log burning fires.

The Tudor Room is one of two restaurants at Great Fosters and offers exquisite dining in a modern British style with a soup├žon of Asian and Gallic influence, served by an incredibly dedicated team that excel in the art of discreet service.

Head Chef Nicholas Chappel joined The Tudor Room earlier this year, direct from L'Ortolan where he maintained a Michelin star during his four year residency.

After warming up with a couple of Mai Tai's on the terrace we were led into The Tudor Room by our host.

To begin, an Amuse Bouche of  Cucumber Gazpacho with Radish & Olive Gel

A first course of Goats Cheese Mousse, Green Tomatoes & Sorbet

(Via Instagram)

and Tuna, Sesame, Watermelon & Seaweed

(Via Instagram)

When the main course arrived I had no inclination other than to chow down so there is no photographic evidence of the deliciousness that was...

Goosnargh Duck, Gooseberries & Ginger
Rump of Lamb, Tomato Jam and Gem Lettuce

A pre-dessert of Mango & Coconut 'Egg' realigns the palate in preparation for
a dessert of re-imagined genius by Sous Chef David Balastegui

Peach Melba, Champagne & Raspberry Sorbet

To finish 
Euoropean Cheeses with Figs, Cherry Compote, Membrillo, Champagne Jelly & Great Fosters Honey

Coffee & Petit Fours
I'm still dreaming of the Strawberry & Black pepper pate de fuie and Lime leaf Macaron.

After being rolled out into the open air, like a pair of Oompah Loompahs, we were given an escorted tour of the kitchen garden glasshouses to see where they grow a multitude of heirloom vegetables, salad leaves and herbs that supply the hotel. A leisurely walk was a welcome idea after such a feast.

W H Romaine Walker and his partner Gilbert Jenkins worked together in the 1920s to establish the exceptional arts and crafts gardens within the grounds. 

With their clipped yew hedges, elaborate topiary and intricate formal parterres, they offer the most gracious setting for a romantic wedding and an idyllic place for visitors to relax in privacy.

In the summer months, Afternoon Tea is served on the terraces overlooking historic gardens and the tranquil Saxon Moat which dates back to 500AD. 

What better view could you ask for whilst nibbling on cucumber sandwiches, than watching swans glide elegantly under a Japanese bridge that is gently clothed in perfumed wisteria.

One of the four secret gardens at Great Fosters oozes a magical charm. Within its walls lies a small plaque that only adds to its beauty but I'll leave that for you to discover for yourself.

Can you believe that Great Fosters is only 30 mins from the Central London.
Its my secret new favourite place to escape to.
Lets just keep it between the two of us though.

Stroude Road
TW20 9UR


  1. A wafer theen mint? What a luncheon, did you have to unbutton?
    Beautiful grounds and what a house.

    Any ideas for autumn wreaths? I am indeed thinking ahead and am in the market for something new and wonderful.

  2. What a cool house, so many interesting objets around every corner. I love that it is so unique. I like the dining room the best.

  3. The food looks sumptuous, and the place seems perfect!

  4. Yum! Yum!! Yum!!! Looks so much better than my ham and cheese sandwich with diet coke :) I'm adding this one to my list. Thank you, Mr. Paul!! Ciao, L

  5. Oh what a get away through your blog post. The food, the garden, the architecture. Paul..did you like the lamb with the tomato jam? Not sure I can taste that. The rest...sublime. Presentation of the

  6. Such a beautiful place, and the food looks amazing Paul!
    I think you'll be heading that way quite often over the summer months - the gardens are gorgeous and I'd bring my picnic basket!

    Hugs - Mary

  7. The food looks so beautiful. The Duck with Gooseberries and Ginger especially and those gardens look so romantic. I have to book, thanks for the review Paul. Dx

  8. Ok we will keep it a secret. The architecture is beautiful and so elegant. The food is just marvellous and delicious. Then the gardens look so romantic and tranquil at the same time. No wonder you love it there Paul.

  9. Dear Paul, Thank you for this fabulous tour. I love the period of history that the house dates to (those naughty Tudors!) and the gardens are perfection. I will put it on the 'must see' list. We will be in England for a few days next month - we might not make it this time as we plan to visit Oxford and some cousins in Henley, but plans could change - we are a family of foodies and I am quite tempted by the lunch!

  10. This is the place to be! So beautiful....

  11. Dear Paul,
    husband just finished an essay on luxury - but now I see something is missing: you show a very fine example for just that topic. If it weren't so hot these days in Berlin (up to 35°C), I would swoon only by reading the luxurious menue you showed us! So the longing is only very high.
    A beautiful garden - very, very splendid. Thank you for showing it to us!

  12. What a treat for a Friday lunchtime.
    Lucky you.
    Have a lovely day,
    Liz x

  13. Paul, Fabulous post and photos. I dream of spots like this!! I cannot believe it's so close to London too. The food looks like a work of art and I'm sure was amazing Such a dreamy location to spend a Friday afternoon. Thanks for transporting me...I think I'll have another MaiTai!! xx

  14. How fabulous Paul….on my luxury go to list now! Have a lovely week.

    Sophia x

  15. Looks divine darling!
    "Great Fosters" is almost as good an exclamation as "Good God"!
    Now I'm hungry. Thanks :-)

  16. just jotted this down on my to do!

  17. Dearest Oompah Loompah,
    Yet again you have painted the most irresistible calorie-composed picture... In fact, I feel I have to go on a diet just reading about it. And the environment in which to lick these plates... Oh my. Oh. My.

    My Bucket List is getting quite long now, Paul, and half of it I hold you responsible for, you and your seductive words and photos. But I have not got time to sit around casting blame. Places to go, plates to lick.

    Helena, dreaming of lavender, Peach Melba and secret gardens.

  18. Your secret is safe with me!ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS..........

  19. Friends of ours own a very similar looking stately home......every year it is on their holiday greeting card very cleverly and witty.