CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Kent Life today CLICK HERE

RG's at Rowhill Grange, Wilmington reviewed

PUBLISHED: 14:28 24 December 2010 | UPDATED: 18:20 20 February 2013

RG’s at Rowhill Grange, Wilmington reviewed

RG’s at Rowhill Grange, Wilmington reviewed

When you want a mini break but not too far from home, Rowhill Grange has got everything from a new restaurant to comfortable accommodation and an award-winning spa

RGs at Rowhill Grange, Wilmington reviewed


Lets face it, January can be a tough month to get through. The Christmas jollities are over and pay day seems a very long way down the line. Its cold outside and the instinct is to huddle away indoors until Spring.


But there is an answer out there, a way to escape, relax and let someone else do all the hard work for a change. In Kent were lucky enough to have some very good hotels offering spa breaks and if you dont want to wait until Valentines, then I reckon this is the perfect month to indulge in a local getaway.


Rowhill Grange has always been a good bet for an overnight or weekend stay, offering all the facilities of a hotel with a small but perfectly formed spa and its own restaurant. The icing on the cake is that the latter has now been revamped and relaunched, so it was to check out the new RGs that saw My Gorgeous Daughter and I heading out for Wilmington on a wild and rainy Friday evening.


Inside the 18th-century country house hotel, all was warm and snug, we were welcome courteously and after a brief inspection of our comfortable room, we headed down to the restaurant to see what executive chef Luke Davies, who has cooked for The Queen Mother no less, had in store for us.


A recently joined member of food champions Produced in Kent, Lukes aim is to showcase good, honest, seasonally inspired dishes with priority given to sourcing the very best local produce from local suppliers within a 30-mile radius. So alongside a simple grill menu starring beef from Woodchurch Estate, youll find classics such as Kentish pork belly, roast venison and a daily seafood catch from the south coast.


A colour palette of pistachio, truffle and creams allows rich wall coverings and artwork to stand out, but its not until breakfast that you get the real sense of this being set in a Victorian conservatory when natural light fills the large room and the surrounding greenery can be seen.


We relaxed back into exceptionally comfy chairs, hoping for a good girlie catch-up chat in between notes and mouthfuls, but we both felt that the tables were a little too close together for an intimate conversation. Its a busy place, the majority of guests at weekends certainly are here for an overnight stay and to use the spa facilities, so I wouldnt advise having a row while dining here: everyone will hear.


Deciding to concentrate on eating instead, MGD went for the Kentish goats cheese and fig tart to start served with a micro herb salad, which proved an enjoyable combination and very prettily presented.


My roasted Rye Bay scallops came with a rather unexpected cauliflower pure and curry foam but tasted a lot milder than the description suggests and although they were a bit on the tiny side, the scallops were perfectly cooked.


I followed with one of RGs signature dishes and a personal favourite, Kentish pork belly (Roundwood Orchard organic), served here with creamed cabbage and caramelised apple pure. A juicy, tender plateful, a glass of Rioja was the ideal accompaniment and helped cut through the sweetness of the sauce.


MGD didnt fare quite so well with her main course of roasted sea bass with a pea risotto and parsley sauce: the idea should have worked, but the cream-laden risotto was overly rich and seemed to fight with the fish rather than complement it.


Alas, dessert wasnt much more successful her bread and butter pudding was again far too rich and looked more like soggy pastry than this British classic. But the caramelised orange ice cream with it was a big hit and my gorgeous Kentish raspberry souffl with thick custard ice cream was definitely the highlight of the meal.


It was wonderful to be able to stagger upstairs for a good nights sleep (great mattresses!) and in the morning enjoy a very good breakfast before donning our robes and trying out the award-winning Utopia spa for the morning.


We both had really relaxing facials then splashed around in the cocoon-like area fitted out like a Roman bathhouse, with stone columns, a Japanese therapy pool, underwater massage beds and a waterfall. We were disappointed not to be able to use the pillared pool with its surrounding mural and great lighting because a fitness class was taking place, which seemed a little odd on a busy Saturday morning as did a sauna that was still cold by 11.30am.


But these were minor blips on a most relaxing visit and its no surprise to see how well-used this popular hotel is everything under one roof and very efficiently run and managed.



CONTACT


Rowhill Grange Hotel & Utopia Spa


Wilmington DA2 7QH


01322 615136


Utopia Spa Enquiries


Tel symbol: 01322 667433



Typical prices: Rye Bay scallops 12.50, Kentish pork belly 20, 14oz T-bone steak 28, apple tart 8.50



Restaurant open: 12-2.30pm and 7-9pm Mon-Sun


0 comments

More from Food & Drink

If you like fun with your food, you are going to love the new Radnor Arms in Folkestone, where the welcome is as generous-hearted as the food offer

Read more
November 2018
Friday, November 16, 2018

Knowledgeable, attentive service, masterful cooking and exciting food and wine pairings make Sturry’s Kathton House a must-visit and one to watch

Read more
November 2018
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Kent’s leading drinks producer Chapel Down is to open a bar, restaurant and ‘gin works’ in King’s Cross

Read more
November 2018
Monday, October 29, 2018

Christmas Day is about celebrating with loved ones over good food and conversation, so head to one of these fantastic restaurants or cosy pubs and have a festive feast

Read more
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Keen2Cook in Deal has been awarded a grant of £2,500 to purchase new kitchen equipment, as part of the rural energy provider’s annual funding scheme

Read more
Monday, October 22, 2018

Working with Kent Farmers’ Market Association, we put a different market in the spotlight each month

Read more
October 2018
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Whether you want slow cooked pulled pork, huge steaks or some surf and turf, we’ve got the meat-heavy restaurants in Kent that you need to visit

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Thank you to everyone who entered and nominated and congratulations to all our finalists and winners

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

We reveal the winner of the Independent Café/Tea Room of the Year award

Read more
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

We reveal the winner of the Chef of the Year award

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
Kent Life Food & Drink awards 2016. Open for entries.

Latest Competitions & Offers

Subscribe or buy a mag today


subscription ad


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook


Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search