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Waldo's Restaurant, Clivedon House, Berkshire


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As of mid-November 2007, Robert Thompson (currently of Winteringham Fields) will become the Head Chef of Waldo's Restaurant at Clivedon House Hotel, Taplow, Berkshire.

Robert will NOT be responsible for the other food operations within the hotel; purely Waldo's Restaurant.

The style of cuisine will remain similar to that which he currently produces, with the usual emphasis on top quality ingredients prepared with thought, orginality and respect for the season's.

Robert describes his move to Waldo's as a "fantastic opportunity to further my career and take my cuisine up another level".

(Hopefully, this is an unbiased report on some interesting news. I am Roberts brother.)

Taste is everything

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Congratulations to your brother. This is certainly a location that provides everything one would need for a great restaurant. Do you also know what happened to the charming Daniel Galmiche? Is he moving elsewhere? And who is taking over Winteringham Fields?

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Congratulations to Robert! I never managed to get to Winteringham to try his food but Cliveden is a lot more achievable for me. I am sure that he will go on to even greater things. There was a very good interview in the Weekend Telegraph last weekend - Xanthe Clay did a piece on him. Interestingly she just referred to Patrick as his "award-winning" brother - what awards has Patrick won? Obviously an extremely talented family!

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Congratulations to your brother. This is certainly a location that provides everything one would need for a great restaurant. Do you also know what happened to the charming Daniel Galmiche? Is he moving elsewhere? And who is taking over Winteringham Fields?

I believe Daniel Galmiche is moving elsewhere, but as I don't know the details I won't speculate on where. There are obviously moves afoot to replace Robert, and I'm sure Winteringham Fields will announce their plans as soon as possible.

Taste is everything

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Congratulations to Robert! I never managed to get to Winteringham to try his food but Cliveden is a lot more achievable for me.  I am sure that he will go on to even greater things.  There was a very good interview in the Weekend Telegraph last weekend - Xanthe Clay did a piece on him.  Interestingly she just referred to Patrick as his "award-winning" brother - what awards has Patrick won? Obviously an extremely talented family!

Yes, maybe they didn't have the space to elaborate on my "award-winning". I won the Roux Scholarship in 1998. I am sure you speak for many people when you say you never got the chance to try Robert's cuisine at Winteringham. The move will definetly bring about a new customer base for him, which he is relishing the prospect of.

Taste is everything

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oh b8gger, every time someone mentions winteringham i think must get myself back up there and try roberts cooking, looks like i'm going to miss out again.

will be very interested to see who takes over, it's a suprise from an outsiders perspective i thought the McGurrans had Robert well tied in at WF, but i'm sure, as always, there are two sides to the story.

Hope both Robert & WF enjoy continued success. :smile:

you don't win friends with salad

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But wasn't he cooking with Germain Schwab when we last went a few years back Gary? Hence providing WF with much needed consistency after the Schwab's left.

He must be delighted though. A great move for him to show case his talents to a new audience, but surely worrying for the WF management.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Winteringham Fields is my local so I’ll be sorry to see Robert go, but many congratulations to him on his move – he’s a very talented chef whose excellent, refined cooking belies his years. I’m sure he’ll attain the wider recognition that he hopes for in Berkshire and he’ll deserve it too. Good luck to him.

Good luck also to Pierre Gay, who is taking on the daunting challenge of following Schwab and Thompson at WF. A quick google suggests that he spent time at Le Grand Véfour (Paris) under Guy Martin. Appointing a chef steeped in the higher reaches of French classicism may prove a shrewd move by WF. They need a top chef to maintain standards, to keep regulars and visitors happy, and most of all, to justify their robust prices (particularly if Michelin withhold their star while the new chef proves himself). That said, this all assumes that he can deliver. We’ll wait and see.

Robert’s move also raises a further point, however, that may be of interest to some. Despite the glories of Cliveden, Robert is moving to a smaller and arguably less prestigious restaurant that opens less frequently and (even assuming full tables) won’t allow him to feed more customers. Crucially though, it is near London with all the attendant media recognition that might help him to develop his profile further. Whatever the established reputation of WF, North Lincolnshire can’t compete with the weight of media attention that adheres to the South East. And here we find an ancient trend reasserting itself…

Introducing their 2008 Food awards last week, The Observer quoted Heston Blumenthal as claiming that: “…all the really cutting-edge restaurants, the really interesting ones, are no longer to be found in London but spread out across the country.” Yet recent evidence demonstrates the enduring strength of London’s gravitational field. Hibiscus has just shifted from Ludlow to Mayfair, and Simon Rogan will soon relocate to a second L’enclume in Henley-on-Thames. With Robert Thompson also migrating South this winter, the regions will have lost three of their best chefs in little over six months. Of course, these are a few high-profile examples and the overall standard of cooking around the country has improved markedly in the last decade. But does this trend start to undermine the oft-stated notion that the ‘really interesting cuisine’ is increasingly to be found in the regions? Does it suggest that many top chefs still feel obliged to move to the South-East eventually to realise the success they deserve?

Critically assess this assertion using appropriate illustrative materials (40 marks)!! :wink:

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Despite recent moves there is still some truth in Heston's statement in relation to "cutting edge" restaurants - Sat Bains, Anthony's, Juniper and he may have been including the Fat Duck since it is (just) outside London. That said, while I have no first hand knowledge of the reason behind any particular moves to the SE, I would be suprised if the desire to achieve greater national/international reputation, michelin recognition and perhaps ultimately financial sucess on a larger scale were not key factors. In terms of enhanced reputation and media coverage, the proof of the pudding has been in the eating for Hibiscus (or at least will be shortly) - as some on this forum have reported there have been more critics visiting in the first few days than a few years in the old location and I'm sure we will be seeing numerous high profile reviews in due course. As for L'enclume, if it had been in Henley rather than Cartmel since the start you would have to think that Heston would be sharing his limelight with Simon Rogan by now. Michelin recognition is more tricky, and everyone on this forum has there own view on this, but the recived wisdom seems to be that London and the SE is favoured. In my view there are many examples of restaurants outside London which would have some or more stars if they were in London and vis versa. Financial sucess of restaurants (or not as the case may be) both in and out of London is a hornets nest with which I am not intimately familiar and therefore will not stamp on it, although I would be interested to hear any views on this.

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Heston is spot on and something I have been saying for years. I think you can also add another few to the list Midsummer House, Le Champignon Sauvage, Purnell's, Fraiche, and Vineyard at Stockcross. On a personal note I have eaten in the majority of the 'regionals' mentioned, and when I started eating my way around London, I must say a lot of them did not provide the same excitement.

I mean is there much 'cutting edge' in London? Judging by the pure excitement and joy that was expressed over The Bacchus and The opening of Hibiscus, I would say not.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is Robert's opening menu for Waldo's at Cliveden.

Mille-feuille of Scottish scallops with truffle polenta and granny smith apple salad

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Cannelloni of pike and langoustines with sweetcorn sauce, basil and paprika

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Seared langoustine tails, served with poached quail eggs, marinated wild mushrooms and foie gras hollandaise

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Terrine of lightly smoked eel, served with foie gras, pork belly, apple and toasted brioche

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Pan-roasted veal sweetbreads, served with ravioli of artichoke and egg yolk, with Madeira and truffle sauce

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Gressingham duck breast with Szechwan pepper, quince and salad of mache

***********************

Fillet of pan-roasted sea bass with tiger prawn, served with wild mushrooms and watercress sauce

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Potato crusted turbot, served with mouclade and fennel choucroute

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Hare royale, served with sauce Grand Veneur "Germain Schwab"

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Balmoral venison with a pressing of root vegetables and creamed Savoy cabbage

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Fillet of Aberdeen Angus with oxtail braised with snails and parsley

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Cannelloni of Label Anglais chicken with truffle risotto, crispy thigh and various beetroot's

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Assiette of Waldo's desserts

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Baked apple and blackberry alaska with blackberry coulis

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Fondant of guanaja chocolate and griottines with pistachio semi-fredo

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Baked citrus tart, served with natural yoghurt sorbet and citrus salad

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Layered mousse of praline and pear with creme patisserie tuile and warm carmelised pear

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Souffle of white chocolate and banana with passion fruit ice cream

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Finest farmhouse cheeses

3 courses @ £68

Taste is everything

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  • 8 months later...

Robert Thompson and his brigade left Waldo's at Cliveden House a couple of weeks ago. The restaurant has closed for a couple of weeks and an announcement regarding the next chef is expected any time soon...

Any news on who is taking over and where Robert has gone?

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robert has gone to the isle of wight to his own place with rooms, can't remember the name but it's on here somewhere prob under winteringham fields thread?

ETA: here....http://www.thehambrough.com/

Edited by Gary Marshall (log)

you don't win friends with salad

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Whatis up with this place? It does seem to be something of a troublesome site. Too grand for its own good perhaps? (let's face it I doubt they get many walk-ins. The same would be true of any country house restuarant, but I assume its exacerbated by the grandeus).

Reminds me of the old Ortolan site (that also seemed have issues getting to work pre and post -JBR)

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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