January is well known for being a bit of a ‘nothing’ month. The weather’s generally bad, everyones broke from Christmas and we’re all on new health kicks. So what better a time for a little night away to try and beat the January blues and put all the negativity to one side. All this in mind we headed up to the Wirral for a night away at Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa. I’ll tell you a little more about the hotel itself in a post very soon, but first lets talk about dinner. The most important bit, obviously.
The Lawns Restaurant at Thornton Hall has 3 AA Rosettes and is headed up by Executive Chef Matt Worswick, who took over only several months ago and has a prestigious Michelin Starred background. It’s clear that the hotel is really trying to push forward with the standard of the food and highlight their status as a real destination for food lovers in the northwest.
We started off with a drink the lounge bar, and the service was extremely efficient and professional. We had the menus to have a flick through and our order was taken before we went through to the dining room. We chose from the A la Carte, but they also serve a tasting menu at £75pp. The dining room was quite traditional with dark wood panelling and furniture, and 2 amazing chandeliers giving a lovely sparkle to the room.
The food started off well with the Chefs Amuse Bouche – a Scallop Tartar with Lemongrass and Coconut. This was incredibly fresh tasting and I really loved it.
Then followed some extremely attractive little mini loaves of bread – granary, white and onion. They tasted as good as they looked and the onion one was outstanding.
I chose the Treacle braised brisket – roasted onion – ox tongue for my starter. The textures of the crispy and charred onion, and the soft ox tongue with the flavour of the treacle glaze were excellent. Lee chose the Partridge – Pear – chestnut – date puree. Having tried a bite (or three!) of this, I think it was probably the dish of the night for us. The date purée was excellent, the pear gave a lovely refreshing burst of sweetness and the partridge was nice and moist.
We both went for fish for the main. Lee the Sea Bream – Jerusalem artichoke – cabbage heart-bacon and myself the Gurnard – Smoked almonds – cauliflower – salt milk crumble. Again a win for the Pureé, the artichoke one with the bream was gorgeous Lee commented and the cabbage hearts nice and charred, although a little under seasoned for his palate. The textures of cauliflower with my dish we lovely and gave a really interesting eat. I would comment that the plate looked a little ‘beige’. Sometimes this is the look the chef is going for, which is fair enough, but it didn’t do anything for me.
Moving on the the desserts, and there was one that certainly jumped out from the menu – Salted Caramel Fondant – Yoghurt Sorbet. It was obviously jumping out to most people in the room, as I heard a lot of people ordering it, and saw a lot of them going out! The restaurant was packed by this point, and we had a bit of a delay for the desserts, but the flavour of the fondant certainly made up for this. It was light and fluffy, while the sorbet was incredibly refreshing.
We moved back through to the lounge for coffee & tea (and whiskey), and a little tray of petit fours also arrived for us which was lovely. These were also a highlight, particularly the rhubarb jelly.
All in all, a lovely meal at The Lawns Restaurant. Worth a look in if you’re up that way, or fancy a night away from it all.
Disclosure: Our meal at The Lawns was complimentary but we paid for all of our pre and post dinner drinks. All opinions as always are entirely honest