Mr S and I were attending our first wedding as a married couple, so naturally we wanted to make a weekend of it. The lovely bride-to-be, Amelia who appeared in my Grain Store review, recommended we stay at Lainston House in Winchester. Ever the organisational freak I booked our stay there five months in advance, along with dinner.
Lainston House is a 17th Century country house located around fifteen minutes from Winchester Station.
The hotel has rather beautiful grounds.
And stylish public rooms.
When we arrived it was suite dreams again for me and my new husband as we were again given a free upgrade to a junior suite. All the rooms have names based on nature, ours was Yew. Me and you in Yew!
We had a wonderfully spacious room with a four poster bed.
Seating area with flat screen TV.
A sizeable bathroom.
And an owl for the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign.
Though the room was large and luxuriously appointed I was a little disappointed by the lack of mini bar and full length mirror. Also the piping must have been old cos there were odd running water noises in the bathroom. Breakfast was only served until 10am, even on a Sunday. Not what you need after a rather booze fuelled wedding!
I was keen to try the hotel restaurant, The Avenue, as it very highly regarded and the recipient of three AA rosettes.
The wood panelled dining room is very formal and traditional. Making you feel like you need to speak in rather a hushed tone. But the service is friendly and there is a family feel to the restaurant as there were a few children dining with their parents.
‘Shall we have the tasting menu’ asked Mr Silver? Good god it’ll be my fourth tasting menu in the last two weeks. But then you only live once I guess! Plus it was only five courses this time.
Fig, cheese and quince with a little vegetable salad. Very simple and nothing really special unfortunately.
Mr Silver’s next course was pig and prawn served with apricot, harissa and yoghurt. I can’t really vouch for this as I didn’t try it and asked for the soft shell crab instead. I love soft shell crab and the chef was very accommodating in making the substitution.
The dish was a little lukewarm but it had the lovely salty crunch which I adore in soft shell crab. It was quite a big portion and Mr S ended up finishing it for me.
I chose two fish courses for my main courses.
Seabass with Jerusalem artichoke and borlotti beans.
Cod with white asparagus.
Both were enjoyable but the fish was a little over cooked and again slightly lukewarm. However, they were again very flexible in giving me cod rather than lamb.
Mr S plumped for the lamb served with feta cheese. Mr S loves lamb and the piece of meat was cooked just as he likes it.
The dessert of lemon, basil and yogurt was pretty micro but this was probably a good thing considering the number of tasting menus I’ve had recently!
The presentation is of the food was very good but the cooking was slightly below par unfortunately. I wouldn’t say it was bad just a little average. The hotel is gorgeously luxurious but I felt it was more the sort of place to take your mum for afternoon tea rather than a young couple’s romantic getaway.
Anyway…the following day was the wedding and Mr Silver and I got into our glad rags ready for an absolutely beautiful wedding.
I’ll afford the couple privacy in regards to their wedding but here are a few highlights of the beautiful nuptials which took place in an enchanted garden about 15 minutes away from our hotel.
The wedding was like a Midsummer Night’s Dream of fairy lights, flowers and friends.
A beautifully creative and personal wedding that suited Amelia and James perfectly.
Lainston House Hotel