Rewind a few months and after our big trip to Cannes with Mr Silver’s family, it was time to spend a little time with mine…One of our family favourites, The Grove Hotel in Watford was the place of choice for lunch with my mum and dad aka Susan SilverSpoon and Dr SilverSpoon.I’ve blogged about The Grove Hotel twice before when we came for a wedding and earlier in the year when we stayed the night and experienced the tasting menu at fine dining restaurant, Colette’s, that being the case I won’t go into too much detail about the hotel itself. Our family lunch on this sunny Saturday was at the hotel’s relaxed and informal restaurant, The Stables.The horsey theme is owing to the fact that the restaurant is based in the hotel’s original stable block with cosy tables inside and as well al fresco seating with a view of the hotel’s luxurious golf course.I absolutely love the grounds at The Grove, from the beautifully manicured lawns, to the unusual topiary and the collection of modern art work that is scattered around the estate. Art is actually central to The Grove Hotel and there are nearly 200 pieces decorating both the interior and the outside of the gorgeous country estate.For starter Mr Silver and my dad both chose a delicious summer dish of air-dried Cumbrian ham with stone fruit and mozzarella, I tried a bit and I love the combination of the salty ham with the tangy fruit. Though I’m generally not a fan of fruit in savoury dishes, this really was a winning combination for me.We all had food envy over my mum’s starter: garden pea and shallot tortellini served with vegetables picked from the hotel’s own garden. The pasta with fine and perfectly prepared and the sauce had just the right touch of cream.My citrus cured sea trout with creme fraiche and potato pancakes was yet another delicious, zesty summer dish.Well Mr S was certainly enjoying himself!!Especially when he saw his juicy rib eye steak and crispy fries.Ever the carnivore, Dr SilverSpoon ordered slow roasted shoulder of lamb with stewed red peppers and goats’ cheese, he very much enjoyed the Mediterranean flavours of his dish despite claiming that it looked like a sausage when it arrived.Susan SilverSpoon and I chose the same main course, sea bream with Jersey royal potatoes and peas and asparagus from the hotel’s walled garden. The portion was generous and the flesh of the fish was perfectly cooked and seasoned with a crisp skin. I loved the freshness of the vegetables and the chef’s dedication to seasonal ingredients was evident throughout.I just love the crockery at The Stables which mirrors the rustic charm of the restaurant.For dessert my dad had a summer berry pudding with Cornish clotted cream which I sadly couldn’t wrestle away from him for long enough to get the money shot of the fruits cascading out of the open pudding.Mr Silver chose ice cream for his dessert; now my dad takes issue with restaurants that only serve chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream which he doesn’t deem exciting enough… I think the classic flavours suit most people and Mr Silver happily tucked into his three scoops which I also ‘tested’ for him.
It’s lunches like this that clarify why The Grove Hotel is such a family favourite; delicious dishes, fresh seasonal ingredients and a relaxed atmosphere – and even better on a sunny day!