We went here on a lunch offer. For us it’s the only way to sample a place as expensive as this; it really is top end for people with money to burn. So, how did we plebs rate the restaurant and that of the hotel and grounds we saw?
The grounds are magnificent. On a bright November midday with rain showers about, the lawns were freshly mown and still set out for croquet though I imagine you might sink into the sodden lawn with the weather we have had recently (and presently); obviously just for show. The gardens were immaculate and complimented the buildings beautifully.
Inside, the public rooms are all pleasing on the eye and comfortably furnished. There seems plenty of space and we never felt crowded in the lounge even though the dining room was full for lunch.
Service was immaculate. Every wish was executed to perfection with not the least hint of the possibility of a mistake. Coffee in the lounge? - it was set up before you had walked down the stairs but the coffee still brought fresh after you had arrived. This sort of attentive perfection is achieved by an army of attendants; people were flitting and hovering in the dining room all the time – you pay for this sort of staff to customer ratio.
What about the food? Well, it’s ‘fine dining’ so you have to expect small portions extravagantly priced – and we were not disappointed. The starter, some terrine of game, was tasteless and a huge disappointment. For main course my wife had a ‘beef steak’ honestly described (I forget how) and it was frankly stewed beef but very tasty and with a wonderful sauce. I had hake, about 2 inches square, such a mean portion that was hard to believe. For sweet I had cheese which, without a trolley, is a gamble usually but here they came up trumps with three local cheeses that all had character and flavour. Glasses of good but not exceptional wine at £10 a glass demonstrate the prices that go with a place like this.
Would I go there again for a meal? Well, only on an offer because if I had to pay the full price I would feel ripped off. Let’s face it; this is a place for well-off people. With dinner, bed and breakfast running at anything up to £750 for two people you’ll get the gist.
A great experience neverthelss. Flawless service, comfort and pampering everywhere but for us ordinary folk, strictly off-limits (except as a taster experience when an offer comes up).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A unique luxury hotel located in the picturesque village of Amberley at the foot of the South Downs. Privately owned by Andrew and Christina Brownsword, this magnificent 900-year-old castle is enclosed by a 60 foot high curtain wall and portcullis that remains open, behind which you will discover an enchanting hotel offering the highest standards of food and service. Bedrooms are resplendent with the luxurious facilities you would expect from a country house hotel. History encompasses every part of this wonderful building and the many acres of gardens it stands in. Enjoy discovering our tennis courts, 18-hole putting green and croquet lawn, and even our resident peacock roaming the grounds. For those seeking tranquillity and relaxation, there are many quiet corners to discover under the shade of a tree or by the fireside. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Amberley Castle Hotel Amberley
- Castle Hotel Amberley
- Amberley Arundel Castle
- Amberley Castle England