A Jaunt To The Countryside

Saturday, July 18th , 2020

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104 in Notting Hill is in the tiny premises that used to be Marianne. Its chef has a good pedigree and works on his own in the kitchen, with just a solitary manager doing the front of house for the half a dozen tables. We had a long lunch there that included plenty of good ingredients including lobster, turbot, truffle and wagyu, and as at my previous visit the cooking was capable and the menu very appealing. The bill can quickly escalate as the wine list is skewed heavily towards the high end, but this was certainly a very enjoyable experience. 

Given that air travel is now a somewhat fraught exercise in these days of Covid-19, related quarantines and similar, my travel will be limited for some time to come. However, given that we had not left Chiswick for three months other than a solitary excursion to the fishmonger, it seemed overdue to have a change of scenery. We had a couple of nights at the lovely Hambleton Hall, which overlooks Rutland Water. I have had a soft spot for this place for a long time. Its kitchen has been in the capable hands of Aaron Patterson since 1992. He retained the restaurant’s richly deserved Michelin star and has held it continuously since then. The menu is appealing and there is plenty of technical skill on display; many ingredients come directly from the extensive kitchen garden on the property. We stayed for two nights, with the menu completely different each night. It is an ideal place for a short break.