First-class dining at TUDOR PARK
by Gemma Dunn
Nestled among the idyllic Maidstone villages, Kent’s Tudor Park is far more than just your archetypal local hotel. Boasting panoramic views over rolling green parkland, this luxury resort offers guests a refuge to relax, unwind and generally have some leisurely fun. Whether you’re enjoying the 18-hole PGA Championship golf course, dining in the prized Conical Grill or recuperating in the on-site spa, this four-star abode excels in its bid to offer an exceptional all-round customer experience.
Tudor Park, A Marriott Hotel and Country Club, is one of 500 hotels to sit under the worldwide hospitality model, Marriott International, Inc. Paving the way for innovative hospitality since its establishment more than 80 years ago, this global brand prides itself on catering for every traveller’s needs – from leisure, resort and business travel, to corporate events and weddings.
However, for the two Marriott hotels here in Kent, it is evident that it’s not only the discerning traveller’s needs that are at the forefront of their hospitable service. Offering fitness centres, golfing facilities, scenic grounds, spas, live sports, bars, fine dining and more, Maidstone and Bexleyheath’s neighbouring venues pride themselves on being just as much of a top spot for the locals too.
On this occasion, we were the locals, hot in pursuit of an evening of good wine, good food and good company – for which the elegant Conical Grill at Tudor Park ticked all of the boxes.
Open for breakfast and dinner, this well-appointed eatery offers seasonal and stylish dining, accompanied by unrivalled views across the picturesque grounds. Headed by executive head chef Tom Biddle, the innovative menus change seasonally and are predominantly driven by Tom’s ardent desire to serve fresh, locally sourced produce.
Seated amid the stylish contemporary décor, my guest and I enjoyed a tipple from the ample wine list, while deciphering our plan of attack – on the main part because we were determined to make it to the oh-so divine cheese course we’d swiftly eyed up.
Perfectly seared pan-fried scallops were my starter of choice, wrapped in Parma ham and served with cold pea velouté, pea shoots, pork salt and rapeseed oil. A truly elegant course, both exquisite in flavour and execution. Meanwhile, my guest’s home-cured salmon and beetroot tasted delectable, bedded on a blini and partnered with horseradish and soft-boiled quail’s egg.
Still, the best was yet to come in the delivery of our mains. My hearty duo of lamb was a dish to commemorate, comprised of an unimaginably tender braised shoulder, crispy sweetbread, a duck fat chateau potato, baby carrots and green beans.
Equally, my guest’s slow-cooked pork belly was an irrefutable crowd pleaser. Served with sage mashed potato, baby leeks, apple crisp beignet and cider jus, the dish was packed with flavour and seamlessly prepared.
In plight of our earlier promise, we decided the best way to tackle dessert without having to be rolled out was to share one…tactically leaving space for the Kentish cheese board. So that’s what we did – opting for a white chocolate mousse. The impressive suite was surprisingly light, complimented perfectly by a pairing of bitter, delicious dark chocolate sorbet, in-season roasted rhubarb and crisp hazelnut biscotti. Visually stunning, the skill and finesse that went into the dessert was an accomplishment in itself.
Finally, the Kentish cheeses were, we can concur, worth the wait. An assortment of Canterbury Cobble, Ashmore Farmhouse, Chaucer’s Camembert and Kentish Blue adorned the board, served with a selection of biscuits, delightful fruit chutney and the fashionable addition of quince jelly. A fitting end to what had been a faultless evening.
In addition to the Conical Grill, guests can relax with friends and enjoy the Mezzanine Bar, which offers a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and a superb lunch and dinner menu; or alternatively, stop by Zest Bar – the hotel’s lounge bar and eatery. Known for first-class catering and event facilities, this Maidstone-based hotel also plays host to 11 meeting rooms for conferences, weddings or galas.
On this instance, the distinctive Conical Grill was the recipe to our evening’s success. Impeccable cuisine – created and served by a professional and attentive team, great wine and a wondrous view – what more you could you want for.Tudor Park, A Marriott Hotel & Country Club Ashford Road Bearsted Maidstone ME14 4NQ 01622 734334 www.marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/tdmgs-tudor-park-a-marriott-hotel-and-country-club