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Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa

Easton Grey, MALMESBURY, SN16 0RB

4 rosettes

There's a real feeling of expectation as the gated entrance swings open into Whatley Manor's cobbled courtyards of honeystone Cotswold buildings - but that's as it should be, since Whatley Manor has always sat in the top flight of the UK's country-house hotels. Insulated from the real world by 12 acres of meadows, woodland, and fabulous gardens, Whatley is one of those places where absolute attention to detail drives every aspect of the operation. Built in the 18th century, the place was called Twatley Manor until the 1980s, when a judicious name change came with its conversion to a hotel and serious money was lavished on ensuring its rambling wood-panelled lounges sit alongside a more contemporary aesthetic. A top-class spa takes care of the pampering side of things, while gastronomes will get all lathered up by the prospect of chef Martin Burge's astounding cooking in the Dining Room, a quietly refined, understated space of pale bamboo wood floors, buttermilk walls, and subtle lighting. After perfecting his craft in the legendary kitchens of Pied à Terre, L'Ortolan and Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, it should come as no surprise that the cooking is French-focused, contemporary, and looks jaw-droppingly beautiful on the plate. Phenomenal precision is there from the off, in an amuse of mackerel wrapped in cucumber jelly with compressed cucumber, samphire and edible flowers. Produce is, naturally, as good as it gets; witness a starter of caramelised langoustine with chicken oysters topped with crisp wafers of skin, cylinders of langoustine mousse wrapped in courgette, and cauliflower purée. Next up, a stunning main course serves poached and roasted squab pigeon breasts on spinach and watercress with a bonbon of the leg meat, ethereally light crispy pommes soufflées dusted with chicken skin crumbs for a salty hit, cubes of port jelly, foie gras cassonade and Pedro Ximenez sauce. This is a bravura performance of technical fireworks. There's real finesse, too, in the razor-sharp flavours and textures of a pre-dessert - banana pannacotta with lychee sorbet and a passionfruit granité and wafer - as a preamble to the finale: velvety custard tart, fragrant with nutmeg and matched with cherries and pistachio ice cream. The wine list brims with interesting options, with a top-class sommelier to help you pinpoint the one for you. The Swiss chalet-style Le Mazot brasserie offers a menu taking in everything from duck terrine with foie gras butter to a classic Swiss cheese fondue, or a steak cooked on a hot stone at the table.

Further information

Tel: 01666 822888
Please quote 'The AA'.
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Open/closed

Open all year.
Days closed: Mon-Tue
Days closed for lunch: all week

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern French
Chef: Martin Burge
Number of seats: 40
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Steps for wheelchair: 5
Disabled toilets.
No children under 12 yrs.
Parking available.

 
 
Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa, Malmesbury
  • Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa, Malmesbury
  • Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa, Malmesbury

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Directions

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M4 junct 17, follow signs to Malmesbury, continue over 2 rdbts. Follow B4040 & signs for Sherston, hotel 2m on left
Nearest station: Chippenham

Local information for SN16 0RB

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