Leisure

People In Glass Houses...

Issue 80

Few venues are as impressive as Wynyard Hall. Sir John Hall's sprawling stately pile is an ode to Victorian grandeur - lovingly transformed into one of the region's most impressive country hall & spas.

Initially designed for the Marquess of Londonderry and officially opening in 1846, the hall incorporates French & Italian marble, Spanish mahogany, stone from the family quarry and exquisite stained glass windows.

Despite the hall’s grand history, the Wynyard team are a forward-thinking bunch who as custodians of the estate, frequently look to evolve whilst honouring its legacy.

An example of this is the hall’s all-new ‘Glass House’ conservatory restaurant which looks into the next generation with an emphasis on sustainability, estate-grown produce and its ‘plot to plate’ mentality.

Ingredients at the Glass House are mostly grown on site, combining a modern concern with provenance with the ‘estate serving its community’ approach of its ancestors. Rows of fresh vegetables, herbs and spices for instance surround the dining area providing guests a botanical celebration of food in both its design and flavour.

My girlfriend Rosie is vegetarian so this sounded right up her street, so we revved it down the A1 to sample a truly unique horticultural dining experience.

The Glass House is set apart from the main hall and with ample parking on site is set up to be a real foodie haven. As its name would suggest, this is a lovely bright and airy space with warm oak furnishings, a capacious bar and a laid-back playlist creating a leisurely atmosphere. Plant plots and various rustic bric-a-brac continue the English garden theme whilst exposed brickwork lends a modern edge.

With car in tow, Rosie swerved the booze in favour of a non-alcoholic garden cocktail (misprint surely?) whilst I quaffed an excellent, summery Picpoule de Pinet. Our starters were a feast for the eyes aswell as the tastebuds. Three wisps of smoked sea trout sat atop a fennel and apple emulsion with roast turnip crackers, diced orange shards and edible flowers. Rosie meanwhile chose the caramelised roast carrots with lemon slaw, embellished with sesame seeds and fresh parsley.

Throughout the meal, the service was slick and attentive with a dedicated team on hand to clear the plates and replenish our glasses.

Next up, came the roast belly pork. This was lightly dusted with sesame seeds and fresh chilli and served on a bed of fennel and new potatoes with red wine jus. Rosie opted for a vividly green garden pea gnocchi with chunks of feta, pine nuts and more edible floral goodies.

A sharing pot of scorched crème brulee with mixed berries made a further compelling case for a garden restaurant figuratively and literally in bloom.

Clearly, with some real culinary pedigree at the helm, Wynyard continues to serve up food befitting of its glorious surroundings. Now is there a higher compliment than that?

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