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“Could have been Special”

The Lawns Restaurant at Thornton Hall
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $39 - $103
Cuisines: European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Description: With 3 AA Rosettes for fine dining, our restaurant offers a menu for lunch and dinner of superb international cuisine, and we have an extensive selection of wines from around the world to accompany. Our beautifully styled restaurant is the ideal venue for any special occasion or just a treat! Come along and have a look around our lounge is open from 11am until 11pm for non-residents. The Lawns chef, Ben Mounsey, has a background working in of some of the most exclusive venues in the country. He brings his experience to Thornton Hall and has created a selection of fantastic menus suited to all occasions, together with the ambience of Lawns, an unparalelled dining experience is created. Our Restaurant Manager and team will ensure that from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave, you and your guests will receive the very best in service and advice on how to enhance your dining experience.
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Could have been Special”
Reviewed March 29, 2013

The Lawns. has 3 AA Rosettes and from the style and content of the menu it has greater aspirations. It certainly isn’t cheap, three courses for 2 people, with water and a bottle of wine came to over £145.00.

The dining room is delightful, but somehow it doesn’t all come together in the way a restaurant at that price level should.

We ordered our starters and main courses and then looked at what we wanted to drink with our meal. Our first choice was brought to the table, but it wasn’t the vintage offered on the wine list. We asked for the correct vintage and at that point the service fell to bits: it took 5 min and two people to come back and tell us that they only had the more recent, inferior, vintage. Our second choice was sold out – but not noted as such on the wine list and so we went for our third choice. It was available and good. But the service failed to impress.

Our first course arrived. I’d ordered scallops and black pudding, my colleague the soup of the day: he pronounced it good, but not special.
The menue described the dish as “Hand Dived Scallop - West coast of Scotland - Edge’s black pudding – bacon - butternut squash”. I received a nice looking well decorated plate with one, yes one, scallop and a small piece of black pudding the same size as the scallop. The scallop was perfectly cooked and the piece of crusted black pudding was a delight. But for £14.00? I’m sorry, that is ridiculous pricing, even for hand dived scallops. Where I live close to the south coast they are £2.00 each, delivered; so the ingredients for this starter cost at most £2.50.

My main choice was mutton, something that is not easy to find but usually well worth trying. It was described on the menu as “rosemary loin - treacle rib – aubergine – goats curd – charred kale” I was looking forward to something special. Again the presentation was excellent, but the portions were minute, three small pieces of mutton each about 50gm plus a small aubergine stack about the size of a £2.00 coin and an inch high. I expected flavour and was badly disappointed, the rosemary loin was particularly bland. All for £26.00.
My colleague had chosen pork, described as “loin – broccoli – salted hazelnuts – cheek burger” and was equally disappointed by the lack of flavour and tiny portions, although the cheek burger, about the same size as my aubergine stack, was clever and good but again, £22.00 for so little?

We moved on to puddings, I’d chosen the Iced Nut Parfait described as “dark chocolate – salted caramel - sour cherry sorbet – kirsch espuma”. It was clever with some taste. My colleague had the Cheesecake, he pronounced it as rather nice but not special.

Our lasting impression is that the Chief is clever and creative but who doesn’t make sure that the food tastes as good as it looks and who thinks that it is OK to charge top end prices for food that isn’t that impressive.

Very dissapointing: I hope it was an off day, but at that price off days are not acceptable.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank jenkspj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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245 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    155
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
wirral
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Lovely Sunday lunch”
Reviewed March 3, 2013

Enjoyed another visit with my husband and 3 teenage children. Lovely food in elegant surroundings. Service excellent.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank WirralCatherine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“One of the best restaurants”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

I ate here with my partner. We had the taster menu with wine, the meal was made up of 6 courses and a glass of wine to accompany each course. The food was outstanding and included Mackerel, Pigeon as starters. Turbot, roe deer as mains and the chefs take on viennetta and cheesecake to finish. Every course was made to perfection with plenty of skill from the chef. The waiting staff were excellent and very knowledgeable about the food and wine. The dishes were not huge but plenty enough for me. The wines were very well thought out and accompanied the food very well. It may seem a little expensive, but I thought it was great value for money. We went through to the bar after the meal and the barman again was very helpful and friendly, there was a very good selection at the bar. This is one of the best restaurants I have eaten at and can't wait to do it again

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank atcook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Fabulous food”
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Beautiful venue for anyone visiting the Wirral. This hotel has everything from beautiful restaurants, function rooms, bridal suite spa and so much more

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jayne D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“All one could ask for”
Reviewed February 17, 2013

A Sunday evening meal for four which was a chance to catch up was enhanced not only by the surroundings but also the cuisine and service. After waiting in the bar area for our friends to arrive our order was taken and within a short time we were escorted to our table. Just the right amount of attention was given so that you didn't feel your were being pushed around but also you didn't feel as if you were hanging around. The three courses had a choice of 5 different meals and were very different but a broad selection to account for a variety of tastes. Although not huge portions the food was delicious and at the end of the meal your appetite was satisfied because of the intensity of flavours. Our dining selection was the Sunday evening special and as part of this you received a bottle of wine per couple. A choice of 2 in either, red, rose or white and if you didn't drink it you could take it home!!! The cheese selection was the best I have ever seen and brought to the table by a very knowledgeable waitress. Makes a change from run of the mill Cheddar etc. Aftr dinner we went to the lounge to have coffee and the experience continued as we were offered home made sweets and chocolates from a wooden box to accompany our drinks. One downside was the rather high price for a glass of house wine at £8.50. All in all a very pleasant experience which I am sure will soon be repeated.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank sparklybarkly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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