Seasonal taste of country house life

Barkers head chef uwe siwy with guests
Barkers head chef uwe siwy with guests

THE National Trust is offering visitors a taste of Downton Abbey style at Barkers restaurant in the heart of the Clumber Park estate.

The restaurant, recently reopened following a 12-month refurbishment, combines classical country house style with a contemporary twist – and an extra touch of authenticity: head chef Uwe Siwy is former personal chef to an aristocrat.

Barkers has been created in the home of former head gardener Samuel Barker and is accessed through his walled garden, which has been resurrected to supply the restaurant with fresh produce all year round.

Uwe’s Christmas menu features traditional dishes including loin of venison and the Barkers bird-in-a-bird roast.

“I’ve worked closely with our local butcher to create a petite version of this classical dish,” he says. “We’ve combined corn-fed chicken supreme, pheasant, turkey and pigeon… The key is to keep it interesting; take inspiration from history, but give the dish a modern twist to make it tasty and healthy.”

Barkers features two public dining rooms and three upstairs rooms, which can be used for private functions.

Specialist Jamie Hempsall helped the restaurant to win a national award for interior design; it has also been listed at number 12 in the Times top 30 places to have Sunday lunch. 

Bookings (01909) 544925.