Review: The Lawns Restaurant @ Thornton Hall

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.

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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.

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Image courtesy of Thornton Hall

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Roz 🙂

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

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