This was our second visit in 12 months but this time we ramped it up and dined in the restaurant and took the plunge on the degustation menu. We have resisted these types of menu's over the years because quite frankly we cannot see the point - it is akin to speed-dating, however what tempted us was past performance in the bistro and if the degustation was up to that level it would therefore be a safe introduction.
At a cost of of $160 pp it is not an inexpensive foray. If you want to add the selected wine list (9) it is another $130 pp. We let the wine option pass and took advice from the staff and ended up with some rather stunning wines as a result.
If the point of this style of dining is to demonstrate the skills of the chef then this was achieved, effortlessly. If the point is to just skite then this was also achieved admirably. There was just nothing to fault and this was over 10 courses! The highlights were the oysters and the eel & marrowbone combination scored "10" in subtlety, balance and innovation - while the other 8 dishes were a mere "9.9" The discount has to be for the murky-flavoured, out of left field, cold tea. At the end I still cannot see the point of the degustation menu, it is a high wire risk for all involved unless, like the Royal Mail, you have a kitchen, a sommelier and dining staff who are at their peak - then it works and work brilliantly!
On top of all this is the great accomodation (ask for the mountain-view rooms), the location and the relaxed breakfast next morning.
This is dining at its best.