REVIEW: The Tudor Room at Great Fosters in Egham
PUBLISHED: 13:56 10 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:08 10 June 2020
With the historic Great Fosters changing hands towards the end of 2018 and a lot of memories associated with the place during its family-owned years, I was a touch apprehensive as to what we’d find while revisiting their award-winning restaurant, The Tudor Room | Words: Matthew Williams
This article was written prior to lockdown and all information should be checked before your visit
Happily, from the warm greeting at reception (via the grand drive way and ‘Hobbit’ door entrance) to the instant old world charm of the former hunting lodge, our first impressions are positive when we visit one Saturday lunchtime.
In an effort to explain The Tudor Room, I often find myself suggesting that it’s a bit like dining in a Tudor manor house version of Alice in Wonderland.
There’s a grand fireplace that is almost big enough to fit all seven of the room’s tables inside it and an enormous mirror that looks like it could act as a doorway into a fantasy adventure film.
Chefs seem to magically appear from their bustling kitchen and the intimate numbers mean it feels like a private dining experience.
The name above the door these days is Tony Parkin. He took the helm from Dougie Balish in March 2019 and immediately retained the restaurant’s Michelin star.
Tony was previously head chef at Graham Garrett’s The West House and also spent time at two Michelin-starred Kommendaten and Rene Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen, among other highlights.
Each dish is presented by a different member of the kitchen brigade, rather than front of house. First, we enjoy a selection of moreish snacks and break freshly baked in-house bread, including a brioche that’s so delicately light it’s in danger of floating off the table.
Beetroot with goats curd and yuzu granita is served as an appetiser with satisfying flavours building through an initial cold snap that sparks your tongue into life.
Perfectly cooked turbot is next with the vibrant orange zing of crown prince pumpkin and the indulgence of earthy truffle.
Next, the devilishly deep jus and beautifully rendered fat of the Cumbrian lamb are superb served with purple sprouting broccoli, pine nuts and lemon. Everything is neat and tidy, and the ingredients are excellent.
Apple crumble then plays a similar trick to the appetiser, with apple and cinnamon biting through the ‘ice’.
Unusually for me, probably my favourite dish on the day is the dessert. Yorkshire Rhubarb with stem ginger and crème fraiche, which has so many ‘moments of mmm’ I lose count. To finish, there are delicious choux buns and chocolates to be enjoyed with coffee.
The wines are all excellently paired; although I feel a touch more storytelling along the flight’s journey would have added another notch to the overall experience.
The Tudor Room is a beautiful spot to enjoy excellent cooking with exquisite ingredients and, while it possibly sounds a little silly given they already have a Michelin star, it feels like there’s a lot more to come from this kitchen team and restaurant.
What we ate
Five-course lunch menu: £55 per person
Flight of wine: £45 per person
The Tudor Room at Great Fosters, Stroude Road, Egham TW20 9UR.