At the Burlington I devoured the best food I have ever tasted - even surpassing the 2 Michelin Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles. Even now, a month on from our visit, I can still remember 7 out of the 10 courses from the Prestige tasting menu. With a memory like mine - that is a compliment indeed.
I won't recite every dish but there were 2 in particular that deserve special mention. Steve Smith's signature dish combines the silky smooth texture of an Orkney scallop, the smokiness of eel, the sweet and (slight) sour of apple jellies and the earthy twang of truffle vinaigrette. It is heaven. And the second? Ah see now I've got myself in a pickle. I was going to talk about the smoked beef but then I remembered the cocoa venison.. and then the turbot.. oh my the turbot! Do you know what? It's best just to go and taste it for yourself. My words won't do it justice anyway.
So as you can tell the food was an absolute hit. Even the bread and butter was to die for! Now what of the restaurant, the ambience and the service? Well all was pretty good but there is room for improvement. The restaurant is divided by a wall which screens the main room from 5 or 6 other tables at the front. We were sat in this front area which I didn't particularly mind although it was a little bit intimate and a little bit quiet. I felt as though I needed to keep my voice down to almost a whisper if I didn't want our conversation to be heard by the other tables. That said, the piano playing was beautiful and set an elegant tone for the evening.
The service was friendly and smiley which I like very much. I cannot stand stuffy waiters who think that you need to be deadly serious in order to be formal. Thankfully this is not the case at the Burlington although it felt like we were served by 5 or 6 different people. I prefer to have 1 or 2 allocated to our table. It feels more personal that way. Too many servers can also cause problems with communication which we found out when we were offered bread by 2 different waiters (the 1st forgot and the 2nd was a little slow with bringing it - perhaps because he thought that their colleague was already dealing with it). We weren't too bothered although a Michelin inspector might have been.
The end to our excellent evening was slightly awkward unfortunately. The aforementioned piano playing that we had been enjoying at the beginning of the evening finished a good 10 minutes before we we had. On the other side of the wall we could hear the cluttering of cutlery and glasses being collected as they began shutting down the restaurant for the evening. We may have been on the other side of the wall but we still felt that they could have waited until we had left. I prefer to finish my meal with a tea or coffee before retiring to a lounge or bar for a night cap. In this case I felt that we had overstayed our welcome, so we left and had tea at the bar. There was no one to say goodbye or wish us a good night (the bill had been allocated to the room so there was no need for us to seek them out). That was a bit of a shame.
So not the perfect Michelin experience but it would not deter us from returning one bit. With food this good, and the charm of the Devonshire Arms to enjoy, this is the perfect way to spend any weekend. I highly recommend that you do it.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.