The homey atmosphere and seasonal menu items can be enjoyed by all at Location: The Dining Room
Leamington Spa may not immediately come to mind when one imagines opulent lodgings. Even if the word “spa” is included in the title. The next few hundred words, it is hoped, will help remedy that. If Balham is the southern gateway, as Peter Sellers once claimed, then Warwickshire is the central one. Mallory Court Country House Hotel & Spa was a wonderful place to rest and recharge as a Londoner making the drive to Lancashire.
I don’t see any reason to continue living here.
However, the hotel’s convenient location was not the only factor in my decision to stay at Mallory Court. A pretty, very British country house greets you as you turn off the (quietish) road into the parking lot; it’s surrounded by sensitively designed additions and other structures.
In fact, at first glance, all that stands out is the stunningly beautiful house surrounded by lush vegetation, and from there, the eye is drawn, via the greenery, to even more greenery and the stunningly beautiful gardens. The hotel’s 43 rooms, two restaurants, spa (with ESPA products), pool, and ten acres of grounds (including a kitchen garden well used by the chef and their team) are impressive once you get used to them. There is a private dining room, a large, quiet, and elegant lounge, and several terraces, which will be a godsend in the summer of 2022 and provide excellent locations for lingering over a glass of wine or a spirit.
A meal and some liquid refreshment
Mallory Court’s main draw is its three-AA-Rosette restaurant, The Dining Room. The restaurant’s “Tastes of the Season” menu features dishes that may change daily to take advantage of the freshest ingredients available from high-quality regional purveyors and, even more conveniently, the restaurant’s own kitchen garden.
Bar snacks of crispy broad beans and olives are solid options but a little dull by anyone’s standards, and the olives we are served are some of the worst I have had in recent years. As we are led into the oak-paneled dining room to endure eight more such courses, I think to myself, “So far, so predictably twee and Middle England.” The quality and assurance of the cooking then gradually increase, proving me completely wrong (except the olives).
Asparagus tartlet with confit yolk and cod roe with potato, which is reminiscent (in a good way) of a dish served at Rochelle Canteen, stand out among the next batch of snacks because they are not pre-made or packaged. The Mallory Garden Salad with Goats Curd and Dukkah is a fresh, crunchy, and clean exploration of their homegrown, ultra-seasonal vegetables. BBQ Adding horseradish buttermilk and dill oil to Loch Duart salmon makes it even more delicious. Lamb, peas, beans, mint, and thyme from the new growing season are delicious.
Honey-poached apricots with almond and orange parfait, an ice cream of home-grown verbena, and honeycomb are a deeply assured cooking; a light, sweet, subtle finish to a very good meal, and so is the cheese course of Colston Bassett mousse, with pickled shallots and prune puree.
When to Do This
The hydrotherapy pool is small but relaxing, the salt sauna and steam room are even better, and there is also an outdoor sauna, glass-fronted for views of the Warwickshire countryside. A picnic can be set up for those who wish to stroll the grounds. Leamington Spa, on the other hand, makes a great home base for trips to neighboring Warwick and Stratford-upon-Avon.
Mallory Court has 43 rooms, so you might think it would be crowded. However, despite the activity at mealtimes, guests still have plenty of personal space to enjoy their stay in comfort.
Approaching Our Destination
Mallory Court is convenient for those traveling by car thanks to its proximity to the nearby M40 motorway and the website’s inclusion of both clear instructions and a sat-nav friendly postcode (not always the case). The area is clearly marked as you approach it. Leamington Spa station is a reasonable taxi ride for those without a car.
Harbury Lane, Bishops Tachbrook, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV33 9QB; mallory.co.uk; Mallory Court Country House Hotel & Spa.
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