The Gastronome Restaurant Reviews - The Vineyard Hotel

The Review:

Award: 3 AA Rosettes

Visit: 10 September 2019, dinner for two.

Price: **


We visit the Vineyard on a regular basis, and always for New Year.  If you like superb wine and great food, then this is a destination that should be on your list.

Stuart Clarke Restaurant ReviewWe were sad to hear that Chef Robby Jenks and his partner, the excellent restaurant manager Rebecca Galland, were leaving the Vineyard to join the Samling in Windermere, Cumbria.

However, new Executive Chef Tom Scade joined the Vineyard from the Ritz hotel in London where he was sous chef to John Williams MBE, so we had high expectations and we weren’t disappointed.  Tom’s food is fabulous.  The menu has changed and there are a number of superb new dishes.

We also chose the Judgement of Paris wine pairing, which is a lot of fun as you compete to identify the country and region each wine was made in.  There are six French and six Californian wines, and some are served in black glasses that makes it even more difficult.

Once again, our visit to the Vineyard was a great success.  The food and wine are as exceptional as ever.  I highly recommend a visit!

The Menu and Food:


The People

We were sad to hear that Robby Jenks and his partner, restaurant manager Rebecca Galland, were leaving the Vineyard to join the Samling in Windermere, Cumbria.

Tom Scade has joined the Vineyard as Executive Chef in June 2019, from the Ritz hotel in London where he was sous chef to John Williams MBE.  Tom won the prestigious UK Final of the 52nd Le Taittinger Prix Culinaire International competition in September 2019 and went on to place third in the international competition.

Tom initially trained under John Williams for 3 years from 2005, progressing from Demi Chef de Partie up to Premier Chef de Partie.  In 2009 he joined the Mariners Rock in Cornwall as Head Chef and was later promoted to General Manager.

In 2014 he was appointed as Head Chef by Martin Blunos’ (former 2 Michelin starred chef) to open the new Fish Restaurant in Bath, and then opened the Crab and Boar in Chieveley as head chef in 2015.

Tom returned to the Ritz as sous chef in 2016, the year the hotel gained its first Michelin star.

The Restaurant

The Vineyard’s motto is Eat. Sleep. And drink wine.  Privately owned by Sir Peter Michael and family, this is a 5 red star hotel and spa, renowned for impeccable service, their 3 AA Rosette restaurant and our award winning 30,000 bottle wine cellar.

Inspired by Sir Peter Michael’s own award-winning winery in California, The Vineyard was conceived as a way to pay homage to the beloved wine that the Michael family have devoted much of their lives to. It is a monument to the highly personal passions of Sir Peter Michael, representing his zest for fine food and wine, combined with his desires to promote the role of music and the arts.

Sir Peter was inspired by the famous Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 — known as the Judgment of Paris.  This was a wine competition organized in Paris on 24 May 1976 by Steven Spurrier, a British wine merchant, in which French judges carried out two blind tasting comparisons: one of top-quality Chardonnays and another of red wines (Bordeaux wines from France and Cabernet Sauvignon wines from California).

Controversially, the American wines won!!  Sir Peter now owns vineyards in California and produces some stellar high quality red and white wines!

Sir Peter commissioned a fabulous mural that is displayed at the Vineyard commemorating this event.  He even had himself painted in, wearing his famous white Panama hat!

They are proud members of Relais & Châteaux since 2003 and Pride of Britain.

Currently they don’t hold a Michelin star, although a few years ago, when John Campbell was the head chef, they held 2 stars.  Currently, the level of food and service is undoubtedly worth at least 1 star.

From the bar looking through into the restaurant:

The restaurant:

The restaurant looking up to the top level:


The Wine

We chose the Judgment of Paris wine tasting to accompany the food.  Each course is accompanied by one or two paired wines and you are challenged to identify which is the Californian wine.  Some of the wines are presented in black glasses, so it is sometimes difficult to identify the wine colour!  This is a lot of fun.  All of the wines work very well with each of the courses, but it can be quite difficult to identify the region and grape.

The tasting wine were as follows:

The Isle of Wight tomato, goats curd, basil and olive starter was accompanied by a Chateau de Rouillac Pessac-Leognan, 2016 from France, vs Peter Michael Winery L’Apres Midi 2016 from California.

The Chalk stream trout, cucumber, caviar and horseradish was accompanied by a Talley Vineyard, Rincon California 2014, vs Chateaux Meursault, France, 2015.

The Berkshire pork trotter cake, with turnip and apricot was accompanied by an Alsace Gentil Hugel, France 2017 in a black glass.

The Gigha halibut, Porthilly mussels, leeks and cauliflower was accompanied by a Gevrey-Chambertin Rossignol-Trapet, France, 2014 vs Melville, Pinot Noir, Sandy’s Block, California, 2014

The Berkshire Downs lamb, artichoke, courgette and basil was accompanied by the fabulous Peter Michael Winery, L’Esprit des Pavots, California, 2015 vs Pomerol Chateau Bourgneuf, France, 2009

The poached Conference pear and eucalyptus pre-dessert was accompanied by a Schramsberg Vineyards, Cremant, California 2014

The main dessert was a bitter chocolate Cremossa with fig olive oil was accompanied by an Andrew Quady, Elysium Black Muscat, California, 2016, vs Sauternes, Chateau Suduiraut, France, 2010 in black glasses.

The fabulous Peter Michael Winery L’Apres Midi 2016 from California:

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