Review by Collette
Steeped in history, Orestone Manor Hotel is popular with locals and holiday makers alike. This beautiful period hotel was the former lodge of acclaimed painter John Callcott Horsley (designer of the first commercial Christmas card!) and was actually his location of choice for his famous portrait of his brother-in-law, Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Now, the hotel is owned by the D’Allen family and boasts 14 character bedrooms as well as a lovely sun terrace and 2 AA Rosettes restaurant.
When we paid Orestone Manor a visit last week, our room contained all the comforts you would expect of a suite, as well as a sunny window seat with views of the sea through the palm trees outside. The decor was quite traditional and may not be to everyones tastes, but the room was spacious, clean and very relaxing!
In recent years, the hotel had made something of a name for itself in the local foodie scene; most likely due to the fact that it is run by two chefs with a tremendous passion for local food. Much of their food is sourced from within the county, including South Devon Beef, local estate wild game, dayboat fish, shellfish from Brixham and the River Teign, rope grown mussels and hand-dived scallops – to name but a few.
Whilst having pre-dinner drinks we briefly chatted with the bartender, who was very helpful talking us through the menu for the evening. We also liked the layout of the wine menu, which devoted sections to Red, White & Sparkling Wines and provided a nice little description for each glass.
Dinner is Served
To start, I chose the Brixham Crab Martini: crab with avocado, mango ice and a poppy seed straw. This was served in a martini glass and looked very appetising. The crab was really flavoursome and the mango ice was refreshing and full of fresh fruity flavour. These two flavours together were wonderful and I would definitely order this dish again!
For my main, I opted for Monkfish. This dish came with monkfish tail in a garlic & shrimp butter, crevette, sugar snap peas, fine herbs and new potatoes. It was beautifully presented and equally tasty, with tender monkfish, a fresh tang of lemon, and a moreish garlic and shrimp butter that brought all the elements of the dish together. Delicious.
My husband went for the Trio of Pork, which came with a quince puree, buttered tender stem broccoli and a potato & pancetta terrine, topped with a marsala wine sauce. Being a bit of a carnivore, I trust my husband to give an honest opinion on meaty dishes and on this occasion I can safely say that he was impressed. This was a hearty dish and the terrine was particularly tasty. All of the elements of the dish were cooked well and he said he wouldn’t hesitate to order it again.
For dessert, I went for an Apple and Rhubarb Crumble with Crème Analgise. The crumble was buttery and the apple and rhubarb filling was not too sweet – which is just how I like it. Meanwhile, my husband chose the Assiette of Miniature Deserts which – as the name suggests – consisted of four excellent little puddings.
There was a dark chocolate delice, which was deliciously rich and contained a hint of almond; a homemade banana ice-cream, containing plenty of fresh banana flavour and just a touch of cinnamon; a meringue nest with fresh berries & cream; and a coffee panna cotta, which was silky smooth and perfect for coffee lovers.
We very much enjoyed our stay at Orestone Manor. The atmosphere was both friendly and relaxing, and our evening meal went far and beyond what one would ordinarily expect from hotel food. I couldn’t agree more with the owners description of the food as “simple and well balanced”. The kitchen clearly utilise the very best of local produce and I admire their commitment to sourcing most of their ingredients from within the county. Would we stay again? Definitely!