The Astor Grill is the latest instalment to the wonderful Cliveden House in Berkshire. While the hotel may be full of grandeur and everything opulent, this new brasserie is here to offer guests a slightly more informal way of dining and I think it was the perfect addition. There’s only so many tasting menus you can eat and slabs of foie gras and so sometimes you simply just want a good steak or burger and that’s exactly what you can get here.
It looks great inside too. Cast iron, rich shades of blues and some rather lovely soft furnishings. The restaurant is a converted old stables and there’s still a lot of the old features which have been kept, even our booth seating was the original individual stables.
As is the same of the hotels main restaurant, Astor Grill’s kitchen is overseen by Executive Chef André Garrett and its menu focuses on a mixture of classic American and British dishes, many reminiscent of Cliveden’s diverse owners and residents. The name “The Astor Grill” also recalls the Astor family who once owned the house from the early 1900’s. Settled in with good glass of Sauvignon blanc and homemade bread sticks – we were ready for some food.
We skipped the choice of starters as we were still feeling rather full from dinner the night before, but managed to put away this snack of crispy fried queen scallops. Golden coated and delicious – especially when dunked into the lemon mayonnaise.
The food isn’t particularly complex or unusual here, but instead it’s all about the quality. Half a Cornish lobster with chips could have done with being a little larger in size, but it was so fresh, perfectly cooked and with a good helping of garlic butter melted over it. Better still was Barnsley chop. I can’t remember the time I had pork this good here in the UK and I’d love to return just to enjoy it once again. Served with simple accompaniments such as grilled mushrooms and sweet cherry tomatoes meant the chop really had a chance to shine.
We tried to resist dessert, but once we saw them arriving on the neighbouring tables we just couldn’t say no. Two portions of rich chocolate mousse, salted caramel, sticky honeycomb, crushed Oreos and sprinkling of popping candy. A very satisfying end to our lunch.
I really loved The Astor Grill and thought it was an excellent new addition to an already fabulous hotel. A long stroll around the estates incredible gardens, Champagne on the terrace and a long boozy lunch here in The Astor Grill – my perfect kind of afternoon.
NB: My meal was complimentary. All views are as always, my own. My views are not influenced by anyone other than my own palate and slightly poor eyesight.