Relish at Radisson Blu Edwardian, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3DA ~ restaurant review

With a promise of the best of British enticing him, Matthew Williams visits the Radisson Edwardian hotel in Guildford to find out whether their restaurant, Relish, lives up to its name

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine June 2012

Restaurant reviewed: Relish at Radisson Blu Edwardian Guildford, 3 Alexandra Terrace, High Street, Guildford GU1 3DA: 01483 792 305

With a promise of the best of British enticing him, Matthew Williams visits the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel in Guildford to find out whether their restaurant, Relish, lives up to its name

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The Verdict:Food: 6  Service: 8  Venue: 7

What we ate:

StartersTartare of smoked salmon with chopped duck egg and pickled cucumber, �9Ham hock and rabbit terrine with fresh radish chutney, �8

Most Read

Main coursesRoast saddle of rabbit, sage stuffing and carrot and herb cake, �18Slow roast lamb shank with roast vegetables and mash, �17.50

DrinksA bottle of Don Jacobo, Rioja Crianza (2007), �26

REVIEW: Since its opening last year, it’s fair to say that Surrey Life has visited Guildford’s Radisson Blu Edwardian on a number of occasions for the various social gatherings it’s become a haven for, and yet it was a Surrey Sculpture Society exhibition at nearby Guildford Cathedral that offered us the first opportunity to dine there officially.

Having spent the evening in the cathedral’s awe-inspiring surroundings – working out how I might persuade the bank manager to allow me to upsize my home to house all the sculpture that caught my eye – my fianc�e Sylviane and I decided to divert back past the �60m hotel’s Relish restaurant.

Claiming to be a celebration of all that’s ‘best about Britain’, it continues the hotel’s overall relaxed but stylish vibe – or, as some would have it, shabby chic.A swift serviceVisiting on a quiet weekday night, we were met swiftly and led to a cosy corner of the large restaurant (I did think that when busy it must feel very cosy, with tables quite intimately spaced in places).

Directly adjoined by its own bar, which ‘showcases artisanal British spirits and bottled beers’ while ‘English wines challenge the old worlds’, there were certainly plenty of wines on the list from nearby Denbies in Dorking as well as beers on tap from the local Hog’s Back brewery (my usual pub tipple of choice). I must admit, it was a bottle of Spanish rioja that we ordered on this occasion though.

A jug of water and a selection of breads were despatched to our table without any need for prompting – one a touch dry, the other tasty – and orders were taken with recommendations forthcoming on request.

Sylviane opted for the tartare of smoked salmon, which was generally very good – although she was slightly disappointed to find the duck egg finely chopped into the mix, therefore leaving it a little lost.

My own ham hock and rabbit terrine was delicious – flavours piling on top of each other with each bite – and well complemented by the radish chutney on the side.Home-cooked flavoursWhen the main courses arrived, my mouth-watering, slow roast lamb shank looked as good as it tasted, with a gravy that reminded me very much of my childhood and my gran’s cooking – any food that takes you back to fond memories has to get the thumbs-up.

As my better half tucked into her roast saddle of rabbit, however, things didn’t go quite so well. She found the subtle flavour of the meat was rather overpowered both by the unexpected addition of kidney in the dish and the heavily pickled, red cabbage bedding. It didn’t help that kidney is a blacklisted foodstuff in her eyes. For such a love it/hate it ingredient, the fact that it wasn’t mentioned on the menu was a bit of a surprise. It was a shame as the rabbit and carrot and herb cake were both, in fact, very good.

While slightly let down by the latter dish – and a little lacking in atmosphere on the night we visited (though you can’t expect every night to be busy) – we were well served, generally the food was great and we had an enjoyable evening. 

3 other hotel restaurants

The Latymer at Pennyhill Park HotelLondon Road, Bagshot GU19 5EU  Tel: 01276 471774Ever since chef Michael Wignall made The Latymer his home, the restaurant hasn’t looked back, picking up a number of awards including a much-coveted Michelin star.

The Oak Room at Great FostersStroude Road, Egham TW20 9UR  Tel: 01784 433822Converted into a beautiful and elegant restaurant infused with character, the team in the kitchens hold the ambition to be awarded a third AA rosette.

The Lock at Runnymede Hotel Windsor Road, Egham TW20 0AG  Tel: 01784 220 960Newly opened beside its old namesake, the Bell Weir Lock on the River Thames, the new Lock restaurant claims to offer riverside dining at its finest.

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