Luxury Hotels

Back to England’s iconic Chewton Glen luxury resort

Kitchen, the restaurant

There is always something new at Chewton Glen, once again awarded ‘best English country house hotel’ by the UK’s trade publication, CATERER, formerly Caterer & Hotelkeeper.  The gal obviously wanted to find out why it is so special, and how it continues to evolve. Early 2017, for instance, this clever luxury property opened a casual eco-friendly restaurant, The Kitchen, right by its main gate, on Ringwood Road, New Milton. Passers by see it, and it looks attractive.  Yes, it is a ten-minute hike along the twisting main drive up to the hotel itself, but there are electric buggies working on a shuttle basis.

Graham Sadler at Kitchen

I was meeting up with my friend Graham Sadler, MD of Regent Seven Sea Cruises: his main office is in Southampton, a hop-skip-and-jump from Chewton Glen. Since more and more of his cruises start and/or end in Southampton, this is a perfect pre- or post-cruise hotel (Southampton is under half an hour’s drive away but there is also twice-hourly train service, which takes even less time).  Graham Sadler’s parent company, Norwegian Cruise Lines NCL, had just announced its 2021 epic world cruise, 11 nights, visiting 30 countries enroute, but he still had time to make his first visit to The Kitchen. We duly admired it together: the multi-million dollar spend has resulted in a 40-seat interior restaurant with burgundy leather banquette seating (a foyer, on your way in, has a big log fire, obviously not working in mid-summer but the wood is laid, all ready to go).

Kitchen salad

One wall of the restaurant is all-glass, with sliding panels that open to the terrace where many want to eat in summer.  Another wall is mostly glass, looking into the cooking school, which has daily lessons: most are six hours, but this August, 8th-10th inclusive, they run three-session young cooks’ classes, mornings for six to 11 year olds, with teenagers, up to 17, coming in the afternoon. Yet another wall is also room-length glass, looking into the working kitchen, where celebrity chef James Martin, an alum of Chewton Glen, consults (and when he does his occasional cooking classes, prices double, for only half a day).  But it is this kitchen which turns out modern comfort food, day and evening, knowing it is what people like.

Design-your-burger, at Kitchen

There is, for instance, a selection of freshly picked superfood salads, and my home hot-smoked salmon was superb – it was with toasted fregola, baby gem, grilled courgettes, with Greek yoghurt and citrus dressing.  Another section has pizzas, another chargrills, and, a highly popular selection, there are burgers with brioche buns, Asian slaw and rustic chips. Best seller here is the homemade Trenchmore Wagyu burger, and I really liked being able to choose the extras, in my case barbeque brisket, field mushrooms and truffle mayonnaise. Despite all this, when I looked at myself later in the metre-high revolving silver ball sculpture outside the spa, I did not look any more sumo-like (see the photo, above). And then, of course, it was time for the room, #74, a Croquet View special – SEE THIS VIDEO