A Night at Clevedon Hall & Dining with Chef Alan Jones

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I review the luxurious wedding venue cum conference centre & boutique hotel as well as a stunning four course meal from Chef Alan Jones!

The Buzzard Room at Clevedon Hall Review from Anyonita Nibbles Gluten Free

The weekend of my birthday, I was invited to visit Clevedon Hall, a stunning manor house in North Somerset. The weekend promised to be a wonderful experience--spending some time in a historic property and trialing food by the renowned chef Alan Jones. I'll be honest, while I was excited about the opportunity to review such a beautiful hotel, wedding venue and conference facility, I was most ecstatic about trying Chef Alan's food.

The Food:

Formerly, the head chef at Almedia in Marylebone and of Cowley Manor, where he earned his Michelin Star, Chef Alan Jones is nothing short of a genius in the kitchen. His food, without pretension but with meticulous attention to detail, praises ingredients local to Clevedon in remarkable ways.

While we mingled in the foyer, explored the nooks and crannies of Clevedon Hall, including secret passageways and huge libraries, towering with leather bound volumes, straight out of Poirot, white gloved wait staff brought trays of succulent canapes around. Bite sized morsels of smoked salmon mille-feuille with pastry with hundreds of layers, juicy beignets of duck hoisin spiced with ginger and soy and spoonfuls of tender spiced beef tartare.

Luxurious silver place setting for dinner at Clevedon Hall | Anyonita Nibbles Gluten Free

After an hour, dinner was served in the intimate Dame Rosa Burden Room. The chef regaled us with a stunning spread, a fantastic four-course meal featuring local ingredients,with vegetarian options and gluten free provisions, too.
Chef Alan Jones's Lobster Bisque with Cognac & Tarragon | Anyonita Nibbles Gluten Free

We started the course with Lobster Bisque with Cognac and Tarragon. This dish was unbelievable! At the bottom of each little pot was a veritable mountain of succulent lobster meat. 
Cornish Carb with Avocado Tian | Anyonita Nibbles Gluten Free
The next course was a delicious Cornish Crab and Avocado Tian with slowly roasted tomatoes, an indulgent caviar dressing with vanilla oil. I have to admit, I was a bit dubious about vanilla and crab, but together, it's incredible! 
Somerset Spring Lamb with Fricassee Vegetables | Anyonita Nibbles Gluten Free

For the meat main, we were served Somerset spring lamb two ways along with a fricassee of spring veg and a rich, Madeira jus. It was all simply divine and decadent.
Warm Chocolate & Cherry Cake  | Anyonita Nibbles Gluten Free

Finally came dessert followed by the chef's own handmade truffles with coffee and tea for afters. Dessert featured a moist chocolate and cherry cake with a dollop of honeycomb ice cream with salted caramel. Chef Alan Jones came out during dessert to meet us and so we could all thank him for the incredible meal we'd had. 
He was really down to earth and spent a few minutes talking about his style of cooking, the importance of using locally-sourced ingredients and his passion for cooking. He also revealed that the team tasked with providing Clevedon Hall's exquisite meals is a team of two, working side by side in a modest kitchen. This style, Chef Alan explained, means that all events and weddings catered for at Clevedon Hall can be (and are preferred to be) customised to the individual tastes of the clients. Chef Alan explained a recent wedding catered at Clevedon Hall where the family wanted to serve an infamous dish by the family's now deceased patriarch. To recreate the dish, Chef Alan invited the family's grandmother, the bride and other family members in to the kitchen while they recreated the family favourite dish. It's these little touches and this feeling that nothing is ever too much that makes the experience at Clevedon Hall special, important and remarkably memorable.

The following morning, we were treated to an exquisite banquet for breakfast: plump sausages from local pork, beans, organic, free range eggs, bacon and an assortments of toasts, pastries and croissants, in addition to a fruit spread and yogurts. Breakfast was not without the attention to detail that makes Clevedon Hall the venue it is. Alongside freshly squeezed orange juice and cold pressed apple juice, jugs of the infamous thick and creamy West Country milk that makes an ordinary cup of English Breakfast a decadent treat, were served.
As you can imagine, the finer details and the luxurious extras extended to every bit of the Clevedon Hall experience from the polished, meticulously chosen silver adorning the tables, to the impressive and period-conscious restorative work, the attentive and welcoming staff and of course, the fantastically spacious bedrooms.

The Digs:

The accommodation at Clevedon Hall is second to none. From the plush bed and luxury linens to the cosy bathrobes in the wardrobe, every thought has been given to exactly what guests need and want in a luxury seaside getaway. The rooms are lovely and oversized, full of books to read while you relax or you could watch the big screen telly mounted across from the bed.

Fantastic patterns clash and create a modern and contemporary boutique hotel at Clevedon Hall | Anyonita Nibbles Gluten Free

A quaint seating area in The Buzzard Room at Clevedon Hall | Anyonita Nibbles Gluten Free

If you're after a bit of relaxation, unwind in the freestanding roll top bathtub or enjoy a refreshing two-headed shower. There are hidden gems and luxuries everywhere from the designer soap and handcream to the high-quality towels and the heated loo. There's one thing that's made quite clear at Clevedon Hall, no matter the reason you visit, you won't be able to stop yourself from relaxing, enjoying the surroundings both inside the facility and on the grounds, including an orangery, pond and gardens. Plus, just a few minutes walk is the sea. I dare you to visit this place and not feel rejuvenated and reinvigorated. It's simply not possible!

A luxurious blue bathroom with Neal's Yard products at Clevedon Hall | Anyonita Nibbles Gluten Free

Freestanding shower in Clevedon Hall's The Buzzard Room | Anyonita Nibbles Gluten Free

Roll top bathtub at Clevedon Hall | Anyonita Nibbles Gluten Free

Wash basin and heated loo in The Buzzard Room at Clevedon Hall | Anyonita Nibbles Gluten Free

I'd like to extend a gigantic thank you to the fantastic Clevedon Hall team who made my stay fantastic and memorable. They're planning big things for this amazing place and I cannot wait to return and see them first hand! 

Clevedon Hall
North Somerset
BS21 7RQ

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