Restaurant review - The Lawns at Thornton Hall Hotel

Country House dining at The Lawns, Thornton Hall Hotel (c) Lucas Smith

Country House dining at The Lawns, Thornton Hall Hotel (c) Lucas Smith - Credit: Archant

The Lawns at Thornton Hall Hotel on the Wirral is the place to live out your country house fantasy.

Richard Collingwood might not be as limelight-hogging as some chefs but his skills have not gone unrecognised. He's worked at AA Rosette and Michelin-starred establishments in his 16 year career. And now at the helm of The Lawns kitchen he's cooking up a storm.

This showed in the tasting menu. Kicking off with canapés of crispy polenta, falafel and a sweetly moreish curry dip, they were swiftly followed by a springy crusty sourdough and feather-light soda bread - all a triumph.

There was an amuse bouche of Wye Valley asparagus, delicately flavoured tips served with nasturtium leaves and morels, which was far too small - more please! Then on to poached lobster with strawberry and peppery nasturtium and a vegetarian heritage tomato course with feta 'snow'. It sounds a bit gimmicky but you can't deny the flavours.

Cigarillo shaped pastries filled with cheese mousse, punchy tart apple and an artily presented beetroot course tasted as good as it looked. Smoked eel, veal sweetbreads served with a smoky, crunchy charred corn was another memorable dish. And if the brisket of Callum Edge's rare breed beef had been a woman I am sure my other half would have married it on the spot.

Dessert was a delightful cherry tart in fluted melting chocolate pastry stuffed with summer cherries. Divine.

Intriguing wine selections, from sommelier John Jardine, included a 2017 Goldschild Saar Reisling, bursting with apple, fruit and lime; a 2018 Lyrebird Chardonnay and a 2017 Pinot Noir Loron bursting with red berry fruit and a hint of spice.

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The restaurant has old world charm in spades - think wooden panelling and chandeliers conjuring up a time when men withdrew after dinner to smoke cigars while the women gossiped about them.

When you go, stay over. I can say with absolutely certainty you won't want to hurry away. Rooms are comfortable and the ones in the main house, rather grand. You can relax in the spa and soak up the verdant landscape, before having 'prinks' (pre-drinks) on the terrace. Perfect.

Tasting menu, £85pp and with matched wines, £130pp

The Lawns, Thornton Hough

0151 336 3938

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