Restaurant Review: St Michael's Manor, St Albans
St Michael's Manor in St Albans provides a delightful setting for a workday lunch, as editor Clare Bourke discovers
St Michael’s ManorFishpool StreetSt Albans AL3 4RY01727 864444www.stmichaelsmanor.com
About the restaurantSt Michael’s Manor is in Fishpool Street, one of the most exclusive areas of the city. The Lake Restaurant, in a traditionally decorated conservatory, provides a range of menus offering modern British cuisine.
First impressionsThe hotel is inviting and has a very grand feel, as you would expect from a four-star establishment. It is steeped in history which you can feel as soon as you walk in the front door.
Atmosphere and d�corWe were taken through to the restaurant and seated by the conservatory windows. As it was a beautiful spring day with sun streaming in through the windows it was the perfect place to sit and enjoy lunch, looking out over the hotel’s gardens and lake.
ServiceStaff were welcoming and attentive and service was prompt without being rushed which we were glad of on a working weekday.
The menuSt Michael’s Manor offers a reasonably priced lunch menu, The Lake Menu, at �20.50 for three courses plus coffee, or �16.20 for two courses plus coffee. There is a choice of three dishes for each course with a meat, fish and vegetarian option. The menu is changed each week.
To startMy companion and I both opted for The Lake Menu rather than the A La Carte. After demolishing a tasty home-made bread roll, I opted for the Ham Hock Terrine with Potato Salad and Mustard Dressing. The terrine was a little cold but as it warmed up on the plate it tasted delicious and was well complemented by the rich potato salad. My companion chose a starter of watermelon carpaccio with mixed berries granite and toasted hazelnut. It was light and fresh, well suited to a spring day.
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For mainI chose a main course of Poached Salmon Steak with Open Spinach Ravioli and Citrus Froth. The salmon was beautifully cooked, the pasta very fresh and the flavours were a delightful mix on a very light dish. My companion opted for the Herb Crusted Fillet of Pork with Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables and Sautee Potato. The dish was full of flavour with well seasoned pork and tasty roasted vegetables in balsamic dressing. It was a good sized portion for a light lunch.
To finishI was not too full up to contemplate dessert so chose the warm apple pie with sweet rum marscapone. It was undoubtedly the best part of the whole meal – very fresh and tasty, and not too sweet. My companion chose Peach Melba with a Light Nutty Meringue. It was not a particularly exciting dessert but hit the spot for that after-dinner sugar rush. Coffee and tea were served with petits-fours of mini chocolate brownies and fudge.
Our experienceSt Michael’s Manor offers the perfect opportunity to eat three courses and not feel too full up for the afternoon work ahead. Staff ensure all courses are swiftly served so your meal can fit into a lunch hour but do not make you feel rushed. The ideal way to spend a well-earned lunch break.
The cost of a three-course lunch for two was �57.99 including two glasses of house white wine and a bottle of sparkling water. Service was included. This is an independent review featuring a restaurant selected and experienced by the editor. The restaurant was not told it was being reviewed.