“Simple but powerfully effective country house cooking” - AA Inspector
Our Inspector's View
Hambleton was built by a Victorian chap who made his fortune in brewing and rather fancied a place to stop over when enjoying the hunting in this part of the country. He picked a good spot that got even better when Rutland Water reservoir was opened in 1976. It remains a handsome property, its public rooms full of lively colour and opulent fabric, and the major attraction of spectacularly good dining in the soft-focus elegance of its dining room. Aaron Patterson has made a major contribution to Hambleton's charms, heading up the kitchen since 1992 after some handy time spent in the stellar kitchens of Raymond Blanc and Anton Mosimann. Patterson has always favoured an understated, essentially ungimmicky approach, with pure, true flavours allowed to speak up in their own right – a style of cooking that everyone can appreciate but lacks nothing in technical flourish. Opening courses are bold and bright – perhaps salmon gravad lax with horseradish ice cream and ginger caviar of crystal clarity, or chicken liver and foie gras parfait with fig for traditionalists. Thoroughbred meats and impeccably fresh fish are the foundations of main courses that gain lustre from ingenious textural balancing of their elements, so you might follow that with a masterful reworking of beef sirloin with roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and horseradish mayonnaise, or superb fillet of turbot with clams, fennel, orange and an invitingly fragrant lovage risotto. The dessert repertoire offers a masterclass in technical know-how, delivering such delights as coconut and lime nougat glacé with spiced pineapple, or a flavour-drenched quince and honey soufflé served with almond ice cream. A separate vegetarian menu might centre on artichoke tartlet with a poached egg and hollandaise, and wild mushroom tagliatelle with grappa sauce. Look to the sommelier for sound advice from the magisterial 400-bin wine list; service all round is irreproachable.
Awards, Accolades & welcome Schemes
Facilities – at a glance
- Seats: 60
- Private dining available
- On-site parking available
- Wheelchair accessible
- Steps for wheelchair: 2
- Assist dogs welcome
- Open all year
- Lunch served from: 12
- Lunch served until: 1.30
- Dinner served from: 7
- Dinner served until: 9.30
- Wines over £30:
- Wines by the glass: 19
- Cuisine style: Modern British
- Vegetarian menu
Also in the Area
About The area
Measuring less than 20 miles (32.4 km) across, Rutland has a resident population of around 37,000, and apart from Oakham and Uppingham most of its inhabitants live in tiny villages and hamlets like Exton.
The county’s name possibly derives from the 11th-century word ‘Roteland’, denoting the red colour of the soil in the east of the region; or it could have been part of the estate belonging to an early landowner called Rota. Whatever the origin of the name, one thing is certain, and that is that this tiny county has had a complicated history. The modern bit starts in 1974 when it was dissolved into Leicestershire. After more than 20 years of protest by unrepentant Rutlanders the county was happily reinstated in 1997.
The major tourist draw of Rutland was created in 1975, and is Rutland Water, a body of water which, at 5,000 acres, is the largest man-made reservoir in Europe. As well as a mass of wildlife and water pursuits such as windsurfing and sailing, Rutland Water also has its own church, which is now a museum, sitting on an outcrop that juts out into reservoir.
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