Dinner at Grey's Brasserie & The Green Room at Whatley Manor in The Cotswolds

Whatley Manor is a luxury countryside getaway (aka hotel and spa) located in the heart of the Cotswolds. The best thing about it? It's only a 35-minute car journey from Bath (or 2 hours from London) - ideal for romantic evenings and relaxing weekends. Last week, we had the incredible opportunity to try out the food that they have on offer.

Whatley Manor has three different restaurants: 'The Dining Room', a Michelin starred one with Niall Keating as the executive chef, 'The Green Room', a gastronomy bar where you can see the chefs creating small plates and 'Grey's Brasserie', a more casual version of the Dining Room with a sophisticated vibe.

We first started with a wander around their stunning gardens, before heading to their lounge where we enjoyed a couple of drinks and nibbles before getting started.

In terms of drinks, Whatley Manor has an extensive range to choose from, with a very high-quality wine list. Daniel, the hotel's sommelier, was extremely knowledgeable about all of the different wines which was a nice change to a lot of staff (elsewhere) who lack the necessary training to give such advice. 

I had a Whatley Manor spritz which was raspberry flavoured, refreshing and delicious. The Pinot Gris (Hula, Marlborough, NZ) was a great choice for the fish dishes that we later had. The olives were washed in tomatoes, and they were great. Very fresh and juicy.

We chose a couple of small sharing plates while we were relaxing in the lounge (everything here is catered 100% to your relaxation), and once we were ready we made our way into the Green Room. Julian, our chef for the evening was stood in the middle of the gastronomy bar, preparing small internationally-inspired plates for the guests. 

The room is dark green (as the name would suggest), and the bar is upholstered with a beautiful deep green ostrich leather. It's the perfect place for a romantic date and a unique dining experience. 

You can either have a whole meal here, or you can do what we did and have a couple of starters before moving to Grey's Brasserie. 

Julian first prepared an amuse bouche for us - cantaloupe melon with yuzu and marigold. The yuzu and marigold complemented the melon perfectly, adding a delicate tangy flavour to the melon's sweetness. We absolutely love yuzu - a citrus from Japan, and it was great to see it being used in so many dishes here. Marigold is also something that you rarely see on menus!

We then had the salmon sashimi cured in kombu (edible kelp) and served with yuzu and five-year-old soy sauce. The kombu and rich soy sauce created the perfect "umami" (pleasant savoury taste) to the fresh salmon. I would probably prefer uncured sashimi, but it's down to personal preference and the dish's flavours and smooth texture was very pleasant.

You might wonder why it was served with five-year-old soy sauce. The thing is, a lot of the stuff that you buy at the supermarket or that you find in cheap sushi restaurants has probably been chemically produced. Soy sauce is made from soybeans (obviously), wheat, water and salt. Generally, it's either naturally brewed & fermented or chemically produced. Soy sauce that is naturally brewed is normally fermented for a few months or more, and the best soy sauce is usually 2+ years old. This naturally brewed soy sauce has a more complex flavour, whereas chemically produced ones are just really salty. 

We then had gin-cured mackerel with cucumber and dill oil. The mackerel was so fresh and high-quality, it didn't taste fishy at all. The gin flavours complemented it perfectly and the cucumbers added a nice crunch to the soft dish.

The Jamon Iberico de Bellota (5 years old) was carved right in front of us, and the outcome was delicious. As good, or even better, than what we tasted in Barcelona in March. 

The patatas bravas with sour cream and smoked paprika (not pictured) carried on the Spanish theme. Usually, the sauces in this dish tend to drown and almost cover the natural flavour of the (bland) potatoes, but this wasn't the case here. The potatoes were perfectly fried and their natural flavours came out - who doesn't love a fried potato? This was also a little bit different to the classic dish as it didn't come with a spicy tomato sauce, but a sprinkling of smoked paprika instead. I think I prefer the smoked paprika. 

We then moved into the Grey's Brasserie for our main courses. 

Whatley Manor uses high-quality beef from a local farmer by the entrance of the property - it doesn't get any more local than that! Because of this, we had to try the Chateaubriand. It's the most tender cut of meat, and it was absolutely delicious. We asked for medium, and it was cooked to perfection. 

It came with both a béarnaise sauce and a burgundy sauce. The main ingredients in béarnaise sauce are butter, egg yolks, tarragon and shallots. It's absolutely delicious, goes perfectly with steak, and is not that easy to make. It's traditionally a French sauce, but it's used in Belgian cuisine a lot as well. My mum is Belgian, and so many of my childhood memories are helping her in the kitchen to make it. Over the years, I've tried many béarnaise sauces, but none of them came close to my mum's (maybe I'm biased)? However, this one is incredible! It truly shows how talented Whatley Manor's chefs are.

It came with gem lettuce and peppers. The gem lettuce came with a nice dressing, and the peppers were had a nice bitter taste to them to break up the other flavours on the dish. We personally loved the gem lettuce, but didn't like the peppers so much - it's down to personal preference.

We also ordered pomme purée (mashed potatoes) which were topped with chives. Hands down, the best mashed potatoes we have ever had. They were so creamy and luxurious. The french fries were also very good, but the pomme purée really stood out to us - you *have* to order them. 

To go with the mains, the Malbec from Chateau de Chambert (France) was recommended to us. The full-bodied red wine was the perfect pairing with the chateaubriand. 

Finally, we moved onto desserts.

The treacle tart with bergamot ice cream was such a lovely dessert and was paired with a unique & aromatic flavoured ice cream that worked well with the warm dessert. 

The mixed berry trifle (not pictured) was a mix of different berries, Madeira cake and cream. It was a deliciously sweet, fruity dessert with lashings of vanilla-flavoured cream. The cream was so smooth and complemented the tartness of the berries excellently.  

Aside from great restaurants and a unique, beautiful & peaceful setting, Whatley Manor also has a lovely spa as well as a cinema room for hotel guests - hopefully something that we will be able to try in the future! 

🤵🏻 Overall, we had an absolutely incredible time at Whatley Manor and really can't fault it in any way. The setting is beautiful, the food is excellent and with only 23 rooms it's very exclusive and relaxing. A special shout out should be given to the staff at Whatley Manor who truly have been impeccably trained and have extensive knowledge of food and wine. They are incredibly friendly, eager to help and have fantastic allergen training. One of us is intolerant to a couple of different foods, and the staff pointed out which dishes should be avoided, as well as which ones could be made differently to suit our needs. 10/10. 

🌿 As said above, the staff have been excellently trained in allergens. Vegan options in the Green Room are great, with a range of plant-based plates on offer. There are no vegan options in Grey's Brasserie, and only one vegetarian option. Gluten free options are good.

💰 ££££ 

P.S. A massive thank you to Daniel and Elizabeth who helped us find a way home after we tried to order an uber and realised that, as it was in the middle of the countryside, no uber's would be around.  Elizabeth had tried to warn us earlier in the night, but somehow between all of the wine & delicious food it didn't register with us 😅. The staff at Whatley Manor really will do everything to make sure that your stay is the best that it can be. 

Disclaimer: Bath Eats was invited to a complimentary meal at Whatley Manor in return for an honest review to be posted on our social media channels. All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are our own, and are not influenced by the company, and/or its affiliates in any way.