Short break - Abode Chester
- Credit: Archant
If you’re visiting Chester check out the restaurant with a view at Brasserie Abode, says Janet Reeder.
Talk about the high life! We are standing on our gorgeous sixth floor hotel balcony overlooking Chester Racecourse as the sun beats down. If anything, we are in the perfect location as the city is almost on the doorstep. We are already in love with Abode even before we head to their gorgeous brasserie for an early evening drink.
Another reason to love this place is the staff. They’re welcoming without being stuffy, check-in is swift but friendly and there are plenty of people around to help should we need anything. And we do. We are hungry.
The brasserie is on the fifth floor just below our room and has a dazzling well-stocked bar. It’s the main feature as you step into a wide open space filled with tables covered in starched white tablecloths. We drink wine and a beer on the balcony and enjoy great views of the Roodee, the oldest racecourse still in use in England. Beyond are rolling hills and in the distance to the left of our panoramic views you can just make out North Wales.
The menu here is everything you might want from a brasserie: fresh-sounding ingredients, unfussy dishes with a nostalgic feel and plats du jour.
We started with a smoked haddock Scotch egg, £8, which is such a great idea: a firmly cooked egg surrounded by the smokiness of the fish evoking the flavours of that much loved breakfast classic kedgeree. A crab bisque elevates this beyond just breakfast fare though!
Another starter of Tor goats’ cheese, beetroot salad and toasted pumpkin seeds, £7.50, married classic flavours and great textures and was a lovely vegetarian starter to compensate for the unctuous plentiful plate of truffle cauliflower macaroni, £12, which followed.
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While the menu includes lots of Gallic-inspired meat dishes including lamb chops, bavette steak and frites and grilled rib-eye, fish and crustacea share the limelight. You could indulge in half a dozen oysters with a glass of champagne for a classic brasserie experience, for example. I can vouch for the fizz, Champagne Moutard, Grande Cuvée, £10. It’s packed with fresh fruitiness with a delicious biscuity finish. In the end lemon sole made it to the table. As you might expect this was a simply cooked piece of fish, served with samphire and a silky buttery sauce, £19.
Alas. We were far too full to enjoy a dessert, but as the restaurant also does a fine afternoon tea, we can save the experience of sweeter treats for another time.
Mention must be made of the wine list which is good and not at crazy prices. We chose a terrific bottle of Voignier Chateau De Campuget 1753, £35, an elegant tipple bursting with fruit, but crisp and precise on the palate. It was the perfect accompaniment to our meal.
Breakfast is also served in the Brasserie and is definitely worth mentioning. The produce is first rate and there are some interesting additions to the menu, such as my omelette with feta and Halloumi cheese. It was the perfect way to round off our stay. w
01244 347000 www.abodechester.co.uk
“You could indulge in half a dozen oysters with a glass of champagne for the classic brasserie experience. I can vouch for the fizz, Champagne Moutard Grande Cuvee, £10 a glass”