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The Vineyard at Stock Cross


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I can reccomend the chef's food, but only from an experience at Lords of the Manor, where he was prior to the Vineyard. Well on Blumenthal teritory (with whom he spent a few weeks I think): slow cooked meat, savoury ice creams etc. V precise. v good.

As to the hotel, have heard mixed reports - along the lines of dynasty amid the berkshire countryside.

Jay

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  • 2 months later...

We went to the Vineyard on Friday night for dinner. In short very good food, up to standard for its michelin star, but not as good as it thinks it is, very overpriced, portions quite mean and the dining room as above very dynasty.

We started with drinks in the bar/lounge area, decent Kirs and the bar is quite well done in a five star traditional English country house manner (comfy chairs, real fire etc).

We then went through to the dining room which is quite different in style, lots of marble, steps with those little fairy lights in them and a piano!! with a pianist!!! who sings badly!!!!. Very californian or what I imagine californian to be.

Dinner is £50 for three courses.

The amuse bouche were OK, mine was a tomato gazpacho, Dawn was given a salad because her starter included a soup, which in some ways is thoughtful but a salad is a bit pathetic.

Starters were the smoked haddock risotto with mustard sherbet and a red mullet thing with fish soup (needless to say not mine). The risotto was excellent the best dish of the meal, a perfectly cooked risotto with decent chunks of smoked haddock with a quantity of mustard ice cream on top. Very enjoyable.

For a main course we had chicken with shallot tart, again this was very enjoyable, very well done, a nicely roasted chicken breast witha small shallot tart and green beans. Very good but (1) it had to be ordered by two people, why? it was just a sliced chicken breast each, no fancy technical stuff, as far as I could tell and clearly not one of those cuts of meat that requires a two portion serving (2) it was the sort of dish that Chez Bruce or La Trompette turn out regularly on a saturday lunchtime for half the price of this, and they are in London not Newbury.

Desserts were a very,very good tarte fine of peach with pepper ice cream and a very good chocolate fondant (not as good as The Square's).

Coffee and petit fours included five! petits fours, very very mean, one of them was a tuile and they don't count and even my seven year old can work out that five between two does not divide well. Coffee was good.

Total cost including a bottle of average pinot grigio £150.

Overall the food was very good, but I expect a lot more for that kind of money, both in terms of quality and quantity, the Vineyard is not on the same level as The Capital or The Square but it charges the same sort of prices and its in bloody Newbury.

Paul

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  • 3 years later...

Post Michelin arrow award of the Vineyard in today's Observer. It struck me that no one seems to talk about this place very much (as you'll see egullet's last report is well over three years ago), yet in theory it should be a foodie magnet. Has anyone been and not posted for some reason. Are people planning to go, or planning not to go for some reason? Has Jay's very positive review (of the food at least) changed any minds?

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I have always been keen to try Campbell's food and nearly managed to do so on honeymoon, whilst he was at Lords of The Manor. But the Cheltenham Festival scuppered that trip as the place was fully booked. (Ironic really as Foot and Mouth then hit the country and the Festival was cancelled).

Anyway- whilst that venue seemed very pleasant- the one reason that The Vineyard has never been on my wish list is because of the Dynasty/ Footballer's wives look of garish ostentation alluded to by Jay.

Now, having also seen that frankly staggering mark up on a not particularly good year for Chateau Musar- it is even less likely we will ever dine there.

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Now, having also seen that frankly staggering mark up on a not particularly good year for Chateau Musar- it is even less likely we will ever dine there.

I was interested to see the comment in Jay's review about the comparative markup on Chateau Musar and Australian wines - if I've got it right it sounded like the markup is high on "old world" and low on "new world" wines? Our technical director had a working lunch at the Fat Duck last year. One of his comments was that he much preferred going to the Vineyard because the Fat Duck didn't have enough (any?) New World wines for his taste.

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vineyard is owned by sir peter micheal who, to coin a phrase is 'significantly richer than youse'

he's got a californian vineyard too, no doubt going someway to explain the new world bias.

it looks like a bit of a vanity project to me.

that musar price is unbelievable!

you don't win friends with salad

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...
What did you think? :blink:

Sorry, I completely forgot to write it up. Well we enjoyed it overall.

We didnt particularly like the place itself, the decor is i think a bit tacky and the flames on the water are definately too much. The service on the whole was average apart from one girl who was realy good, they seemed very nervous and a bit fed up that we were there (they only had one other table and they were leaving as we left). The restaurant manager kept interupting our conversation to ask us crap questions about how the traffic was and what we thought the weather would do? strange

We all took the alacarte but to be honest my memory of the food is a bit sketchy.We started with nice sourdough bread and an appetiser of parsnip espuma with curried parsnip crisps. This was lovely, not too sweet and the savouriness lifted by the curry. I started with scallops which were good, if not amazing and had the turbot with oxtail as a main. This was delicious, there were many different little garnishes on the plate including girolles and some purees (one being smoked mashed potato i think). For desert we shared one of each of the menu, the highlight for me being a plate of lemon cream with blackcurrant sorbet, vanilla tapioca and mint cress. The cress was superb and had a light lemon flavour. I remember the chocolate dessert having vinegar ice cream which was interesting.P4's were okay, red pepper jelly, sherry vinegar chocolate and some others. overall the food was very nice, complex on the plate but relatively simple on the palate. If i can dig out the copy of the menu i should remember more of the food and will edit this post.

The quest for perfection will lead you to role models that will last you for life (Nico Ladenis)

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  • 9 months later...
  • 6 months later...
Has anyone been here since Michelin awarded the second star? What is the experience like these days?

Slow reactions.

Actually, we stayed there last Friday.

The place itself is largely as others have described, although they omitted that it looks like a Travel Lodge as you pull in off the main road. Once you get through the doors, however, it's good opulent stuff. We'd booked a last minute lastminute deal, at £120 room only, but we were told a) they'd given us a comp upgrade to a luxury room (in the new Atrium wing) and b) had reserved a table for dinner. Re: b) we had decided in advance that we couldn't afford the eye-bleedingly (for us) dinner prices (£58 for two courses, £68 for three), but, sure enough, we fell for it.

At aperitif, the elegantly subtle question mark in my "dry sherry?" fell on deaf ears, and resulted in a dry sherry. It was probably Tio Pepe, which of course is fine, but at a Peter Michael place, I was hoping for a bit more of a discussion. H had a Kir Royale framboise.

The menu is as on their website (as of today's date, obv.). All of it was up my street, but not much up H's, so to speak. I went for Squab with Rhubard and Custard, then Turbot, she for Roast Chicken and dessert.

Amuse was truffle panna cotta, with cep foam. This looked like a huge grey fried egg, but was forceful and (nicely) salty. H could only manage a small bit of what was a generous portion. Good bread with good butter.

The squab itself was outstanding (four breasts, or pieces thereof) but, perhaps predictably, I couldn't see the point of the rhubard and custard (overly sweet). Nice pieces of thinly sliced cep worked well though.

Turbot was also lovely, as were the pork belly and the langoustine. I didn't really taste the lemongrass, but didn't miss it. H said the chicken was superb, but I was enjoying the turbot so much I didn't really look up.

The sommelier had seemed quickly to lose interest when he discovered that I was the only one drinking, and that I only wanted a glass. Just to spite him, I cleverly didn't really listen when he explained his recommendation. Whatever it was, it was a scoop of nectar.

H then had Hazelnut Sponge, Chocolate Parfait, Muscovado Foam. I think I stole some.

Service was pretty much impeccable, if a bit rushed. The staff did have to contend, however, with an ineffably cool old French couple next to us, who, in the most charming way, made themselves the most awkward bastards possible (before declaring their scallop starters to be "tres bon", at which the waiter expired from delight).

Coffee was crap, as it always is, everywhere.

Sheffield, where I changed,

And ate an awful pie

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  • 1 year later...

Don't be bloody ridiculous Adam. You know you'll be going for the Tasting menu from the off:biggrin:.

The only people I know you have eaten there went a la carte and thought it good, but it was rather outshone by the five hour meal at The Fat Duck earlier that day!

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I went last year-horrible room and building, lovely staff, accomplished modern food that strives for originality and inevitably ends up dull. A tremendous wine list with some fantastic bargains if you know what to look for.

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  • 4 months later...

I had a very nice lunch here on saturday just gone. Perhaps not as nice as a previous lunch a year or two ago but good non the less. The place was very busy. I would guess 30 - 40 in the restaurant, another 8-10 in the lounge and a wedding! Food Was good value at about £25 for three courses + amuse. Not much doing on the wine front for less than £25 (there are a couple of cheap pages at the end of the biblical list). The price of booze in the bar is eye watering. It will be interesting to see who they employ. Retaining two stars or even keeping one may prove interesting and the alc / tasting prices are steep without the chef with the **stars? It will be interesting to see how it goes.

Martin

Martin

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I ate dinner there a few weeks ago.

A disappointing experience. No canapes, amuse bouche was over-seasoned and the seafood main course was slightly overcooked.

Nice fires on the lake though!

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ive had a few reports back from friends (2 of whom are chefs in michelin starred restaurants) and they felt he was trying far too hard. by this they meant 20 garnishes on a plate! 1 of them did like it but did feel the amount of different jellies and foams were off putting and would rather eat a meal where u can taste and enjoy each ingredient for at least more than one mouthful.

i was dead set on going there but i keep hearing the same thing. nonetheless i do read a couple of good reviews about the place. i wont be rushing there before he leaves.

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