Kitchen sink drama for gourmets

Simon Bradley, Head Chef and Iain Hardman, Managing Director, with the chef''s table at East Lodge
Simon Bradley, Head Chef and Iain Hardman, Managing Director, with the chef''s table at East Lodge
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East Lodge may boast a smart restaurant but diners are discovering that the latest place to eat is the kitchen.

The Rowsley country house hotel has just launched a Chef’s Table, showcasing both the delightful setting and the skills of head chef Simon Bradley and his team.

Now diners can enjoy all the finesse of a restaurant meal with the bonus of having a fly-on-the-wall view of the staff at work.

The move follows a £250,000 kitchen refurbishment at East Lodge.

“The new space and layout means this is one of the best kitchens I have ever seen internationally. We now have space for all the very latest equipment, including a walk-in fridge and specialist cooking tools like a plancha,” said head Chef Simon Bradley, who has cooked in kitchens from the Paris Ritz to Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir.

MD Iain Hardman is pleased with the results of the upgrade: “This has been a complete redesign – including removing several load-bearing three-foot-thick original walls to make room for state-of-the-art equipment and the table,” he said.

The restaurant reopened at the end of January but work continued to complete the facelift with the Chef’s Table as an eye-catching centrepiece, where up to eight guests can sit at the heart of the action.

Custom-crafted tasting menus are a feature of the new concept, combining the best food and wines on offer.

“This allows us to expand the horizons of Chef’s Table diners by showing off not only our culinary expertise, but also our knowledge of wines,” added Iain. “Following Simon’s discussions with our sommelier, we can advise diners of the best wines to complement every dish, tailoring each to blend flawlessly with the dishes on the menu.”