Nuthurst Grange, Solihull
When your nine year old grandson chooses a starter of eel and pork belly, then you know that he is ready to share a 'posh' meal at a splendid country house hotel. With children and grandchildren, you select Nuthurst Grange because you know that they will be treated magnificently. The staff at Nuthurst Grange are exceptional. Everyone is treated like aristocracy, whether nine or ninety years of age. Sunday lunch in the Kingswood restaurant is a real treat and can be highly recommended for that special occasion. This place is a well kept secret, so don't tell anyone!
On arrival you are welcomed into the beautifully furnished lounge with comfy sofas and wonderful views over the extensive gardens and the helipad. Canapes on arrival (below), while you study the menu and order a drink from the bar. The Sunday lunch menu is £28 per head. Time stands still at Nuthurst Grange and there is no urgency from the staff to get you to your table and away again. You can leisurely chose your starters that include soup. The Sunday roast mains are normally of pork, lamb and beef.
Eventually but comfortably, escorted to your table, you enter a well supported restaurant- such a pity that locals under 40 years of age have not yet discovered this secret restaurant. Children and grandchildren are certainly in the minority. The wating staff are efficent and attentive, quickly arriving with freshly baked bread and bread rolls and garlic butter, and water.
Last Sunday, my wife and I had another great experience at Nuthurst Grange for lunch. The staff were, as usual, so welcoming and accommodating. I had a chicken parfait for starter and my wife a mixed fish starter. She found hers a little disappointing as the menu said that crayfish was included, but it was noticeably absent. However, her main dish of roast pork with all the trimmings clearly made up for the 'lacking' starter. I went for the roast beef main course and thankfully when ordering I asked for my meat to be medium to well cooked. As a result, the beef was terrific - tender, succulent and tasty. All the accompanying vegetables of cauliflower cheese, carrots, beans and potatoes were beautifully cooked and a delight to eat. My big disappointment , and clearly other guests too (as I saw their plates returning to the kitchen) was the Yorkshire Pudding. It was like eating cardboard! Yes, it was a large Yorkshire, but I would have got more taste out of chewing an envelope, than I did from the globular mound of fried batter that sat alongside my beef and roasted potatoes. Chef or his assistant need a lesson in making acceptable Yorkshire puddings!
I finished with a creme brulee dessert with strawberries and a strawberry ice cream - faultless - and wife with the cheese platter. A wide choice of delightfully unusual cheeses. Sadly, we could not take our coffee in the lounge, due to an expectant wedding party. Such a pity as we love relaxing there after our meal. With a bottle of Gavi and sparkling water, our final bill came to £95 to which I added a £5 tip, and a tip for chef Glover, ''sort out the Yorkshire Puddings, chef, without a good one, the beef dinner will be disappointing''.