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AA Notable Wine List 2018-19
AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

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Simple but powerfully effective country-house cooking

AA Inspector

At a glance

Open all year
Vegetarian menu
Tasting menu
Private dining
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access

A gentleman of discernment, Walter Marshall, who had made his fortune in the shipping and brewing sectors, had Hambleton built for himself in 1881 as a bolthole for hunting expeditions. No boring old sweat of the shires, Marshall rather enjoyed the fast life, with its insalubrious gossip and the kinds of young ladies who didn't mind who saw their ankles. When ownership passed to his younger sister, the crowd got even racier, with Noël Coward and others of the sparkling set passing through its portals to be reliably amused by the goings-on. It remains a handsome property, even if there is more than a hint of hodge-podge to its front elevation, its public rooms full of lively colour and opulent fabric, and the arrival of the Rutland Water reservoir in the 1970s added to the magnificence of its prospects. As to that, Aaron Patterson has made a major contribution to Hambleton's charms since 1992, when he became head chef here following a tutelage under some of the conjurable names of 1980s gastronomy, Raymond Blanc and Anton Mosimann among them. Patterson has always favoured an understated, essentially uncluttered approach, with pure, true flavours allowed to speak up in their own right, rather than being enveloped in layers of intricacy. This makes for a style of cuisine that everyone can understand, but that lacks nothing in technical flourish. Opening courses are bold and bright – poached Scottish langoustines with asparagus in a chilled tomato essence of crystal clarity, or perfectly pink ballotine of foie gras with kumquats, Seville orange marmalade and sourdough toast, a flawless example of richness balanced by sharply delineated accompaniments. Thoroughbred meats and impeccably fresh fish are the mainstays of the principal business, perhaps poached halibut, cockles and clams in sauce bouillabaisse (a dish that also may be optioned as an intermediate course), or small slices of succulent veal fillet with its sweetbreads and violet artichokes on an invitingly fragrant truffled risotto. The house take on tiramisù remains a firm favourite of the dessert repertoire, a chocolate-topped, coffee-soaked sponge with mousse and honeycomb, but the soufflé technique is something to see too, in a flavour-drenched almond and amaretto version served with quince and honey ice cream. A separate vegetarian menu might centre on artichoke tartlet with a poached egg and hollandaise, and wild mushroom tagliatelle. Look to the sommelier for sound advice from the magisterial wine list, but service all round is irreproachable.

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Opening hours

  • Open all year
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 1.30
  • Dinner served from: 7
  • Dinner served until: 9.30


  • Chef(s): Aaron Patterson

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: Modern British
  • Vegetarian menu
  • Wines over £30: 400+
  • Wines by the glass: 19

Price guide

  • 2-course lunch from: £31.50
  • 3-course lunch from: £40
  • Tasting menu from: £95
  • Service charge
  • Credit cards accepted


  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Steps for wheelchair: 2
  • Assist dogs welcome

Additional information

  • Seats: 60
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 40
  • On-site parking available

Getting here

8 miles west of A1 Stamford junction (A606), 3 miles east of Oakham.

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Three-course lunch from£40**Minimum price for a 3-course lunch *Minimum price for a 3-course lunch
*Minimum price for a 3-course lunch
*Minimum price for a 3-course lunch
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