Everything about Barnsley House’s Potager Restaurant is “freshly picked” – from the use of kitchen garden produce on the menu to its newly refurbished interior.
The new look has stripped the tables of linen in favour of a more informal dining setting of which hotel manager, Michele Mella says: ‘Simplicity is beauty.’
However, despite the contemporary overhaul, the legacy of former owner and renowned garden designer, Rosemary Verey, lives on, and the hotel’s four gardens are clearly the inspiration for the entire Potager experience.
Stalks of rosemary and pots of herbs decorate the tables, while a crunchy vegetable tempura starter features freshly picked kale, carrots and cauliflower from the kitchen garden just outside.
The gardens are such a integral feature of the menu that executive chef Graham Grafton liaises with the gardeners every day to ensure that his menus are perfectly in tune with what’s being picked that day. The arrival of chickens at the end of the month will introduce home produced eggs to the kitchen too, and where produce is not available from the house, it’s sourced from local suppliers.
Overlaying all of this local flavour is an Italian influence in the cooking, and the house speciality is vincisgrassi: a lasagna-like dish of layers of pasta, parma ham, porcini and truffles, originating from an eighteenth century recipe. There’s also a relaxed dining style that comes as a result of dishes available as either starters or mains so that you can order a few to share.
All of this luxurious simplicity takes some of the formality out of dining in a 17th century manor and the result is a gorgeous dining experience. JW