My partner and I were staying in the Abode hotel on its " Spring Sensation" package,for which one received a meal in the bar and grill upstairs.
We decided to forego this and treat ourselves to a meal in the downstairs restaurant that billed itself as fine dining. What a mistake that turned out to be.
We were met by an affable maitre d' who explained the menus to us and we chose to go with the tasting menu but without the accompanying wines for £65 per head.
When my mackerel starter arrived alarm bells should have started ringing, I was presented with a plate,large,white,with what was more a biopsy of the alleged fish than anything substantial to taste.
Let me digress a moment. To me the concept of dinner is simple,one is hungry, one eats and at the end ones hunger should be gone. Here it was different,I felt exactly the same after the meal as I did before,hungry! It was possibly the only time I've taken my belt in a notch as opposed to letting it out.
I'm not going to go through each individual dish and pick its faults,although there was a deconstructed pre-dessert brioche that my partner described as"burnt scrappings from an oven tray" that lived on in the memory.
Now, I may have misjudged "the concept" about tasting menus to which I plead ignorance.
But to that I say this. If charging £65 per head for miniscule particles of food delivered with a Shakespearean soliloquy as to what it is and to what it should taste like when in fact none of the dishes tasted of anything other than the blandest of bland,deserted of any seasoning or taste and call it fine dining takes the proverbial biscuit.
For not much more one could eat at Le Gavroche, or Ramsay's Chelsea restaurant,but that is Premier league dining,this unfortunately is 4th division stuff and yet it pretends to attain those heights and charges accordingly,like a pre-fab pretending it's the Taj Mahal.
So with wine and service,that incidently was added to our bill,which was the one part of the bill I didn't mind paying as this was exemplary,it was not short of £200,a weekly wage for some,to be left feeling hungry and frankly ripped off.
We had high hopes when we dined here and its a shame it didn't match our expectations. Others have dined here and found it superb and they're entitled to their opinion I can only speak as I found.
Wish it could have been better,sady it wasn't