Dormy House hotel is situated between Broadway and Chipping Campden right on the top of the Cotswold scarp. Our visit on a really sunny April day was such a contrast from a visit, early last year, when there was a hoar frost outside and log fires were to the fore. Same warm welcome inside though.
There is an ancient expression, that someone has two strings to his or her bow. I believe Dormy House has achieved just this happy outcome by offering its spacious elegant Garden Room restaurant or the option of the Potting Shed - which is where we had lunch this week.
Reached through the hotel or via its own delightful terrace, the stylish and simpatico decor is at the same time exciting and soothing. A series of alcoves or small roomettes, each seating about 16, divide the space with a bar from which the very attentive team keep a solicitous eye on their guests. The kitchen, which runs both restaurants are managed well and imaginatively by John Ingram, an Executive Chef with an excellent culinary pedigree.
Our greeting by Alexi was superb and confident, menus quickly produced and orders sought without delay (Campari as usual). A basket of delicious and varied breads with a fine dipping olive oil passed the time while our first courses were being prepared. And they were good!
For me, a duck leg confit terrine coated with pumpkin seeds, accompanied by a wonderful rhubarb chutney, I found the terrine slightly dry but my daughter Josephine’s goat’s cheese fritters with a tomato and chilli jam was a dish to be proud of.
The next dish could have gone so wrong. Only a very confident and skilled chef could envisage and execute perfectly a large piece of squid steak with delicious al dente noodles and vegetables. Perfect timing equals perfect food and a very happy Somerset.
Jo’s 18 hour slow-cooked belly pork with greens and thrice-cooked chips was pronounced very good by a girl who keeps her own rare breed pigs and is also an enthusiastic cook.
As usual, we chose the Pinot Noir grape, this time from Chile. It was awfully well bought, as was the Corney and Barrow house white wine. Further investigation is needed into this scrummy wine list if these were indications of the sommelier’s skills.
Croissant and butter pudding with berries was warm and unctuous, perhaps on the small side and a 'cheeky' tiramisu was small enough to delight, but not too large to depress.
Coffee and a cigar outside on the terrace (it was, after all, the 20th of April), slowly brought this delightful meal to a gentle close.
High spots? Alexi, Karen and 3 skilled and smiling front of house team members were ever attentive. Being good hosts means making strangers into fans and friends, this they achieved well. The invisible team in the kitchen played their perfect part. Low spots none!
Based on our findings, we highly recommend THE POTTING SHED!
The Potting Shed at the Dormy House,
Willersey Hill, Broadway WR12 7LF
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 013860 852711 Web: Dormyhouse.co.uk