The Garden Room restaurant has reopened its doors at The Cavendish Hotel in Baslow following a £1.1million investment with a new menu from Executive Chef, Adam Harper, and a wine and Champagne list from Restaurant Manager and Sommelier, Stuart Bond. Savour’s founding editor, Georga Spottiswood, chats to Adam and Stuart about what guests can expect.
The Garden Room restaurant has officially reopened its doors at The Cavendish Hotel in Baslow following a £1.1million investment.
Guests can now enjoy a bright, relaxed setting that makes the most of its position overlooking Chatsworth’s parkland, a seasonal menu that showcases the best local produce and an extensive wine and Champagne selection.
“It was a big, big job – but the results are spectacular,” says Stuart Bond, Restaurant Manager and Sommelier at the hotel, which is set within the Chatsworth Estate.
“The Garden Room was initially installed back in 1980, and it was very small, but the business is moving forward, and we have just had £1.1million spent on the new restaurant with a further £2 million to be spent next year in the hotel. We’re evolving as a business, which is great.
“It’s twice the size now and it has also been elevated so guests can enjoy fantastic views across Chatsworth and the topography of the Peak District, it’s wonderful,” says Stuart.
“It’s my office and you never tire of looking at it – it doesn’t matter what time of day or what season it is, it’s absolutely stunning. You have the rolling hills of the White Peak out towards Chatsworth and then you have the peaks and fells on Curbar Edge looking down on the Chatsworth Estate which is the start of the Dark Peak.”
While executive chef Adam Harper oversees the new Garden Room menu, Stuart – who has been with the business for 26 years – ensures all guests enjoy an exceptional experience.
“We do everything possible to ensure that each guest is made to feel welcome, relaxed and that they have the best experience and can then look back and cherish the memories of that experience.
“Every one of our guests has a name, no one’s a room number. We’re always proactive which is key as the guest enjoys friendly and attentive service delivered with both warmth and sincerity. I think sometimes that’s lost on a lot of businesses – and it all goes down to training. It’s why our customers return time and time again; we offer a personal service.
“You’ve got to maintain standards and look after guests. It’s all about the journey and now my position as a sommelier is an intrinsic part of the menu and experience, delivering eminent sensations on the palate in terms of food and wine.”
The Drinks at The Garden Room
When it comes to the Garden Room drinks selection, Stuart is hugely passionate about delivering tastes to suit all palates.
“We have the right choices with the right dishes, and I work closely with Adam on that. Adam was the reason why we achieved our three rosettes status at the hotel. He’s an absolutely fabulous chef, not just his ability but his attitude.”
It was during lockdown that Stuart started studying wines, as he wanted to broaden his own knowledge as well as help the hotel grow in terms of the guest experience.
“I spent a thousand hours just learning about aromas, flavours and descriptors. We have around 120 different bottles of wine available in the hotel – and the wine list is set up in terms of styles.
“For whites, we have either crisp and delicate, aromatic and refreshing or full and fruity with oak influence. Then on the reds we have either light and fresh, soft and smooth or big and rich – and that’s how we break it down”.
When recommending wines to guests, Stuart always starts with the components of the dish.
“We all have individual palates. I could make a recommendation, but you could disagree with it because it’s your palate at the end of the day. It’s a journey of discovery, but it depends on the components of the dish and the style of wine, and we always provide guests with a little personal detail about the wine too. We’re not here to sell the most expensive bottle of wine, but to get that perfect pairing for a guest.”
The Menu at The Garden Room
Executive Chef Adam Harper has worked in partnership with farmers and producers to develop a menu that celebrates some of the Peak District’s best-known producers.
As well as Chatsworth’s own Gardeners and Farmers, Adam has worked with local artisan suppliers and farmers – the majority of whom are based within in a five-mile radius of the hotel – to produce his dishes.
Guests will find trout from Ladybower Fisheries, cold-pressed rapeseed oil from Bakewell’s Brock and Moreton and pork from the family-run Moss Valley Farm featured on the menu.
“A lot of hard work has gone into the sourcing and development of the new menu at The Garden Room to make sure it does justice to our outstanding location. We’re incredibly proud to be offering the very best produce all year round whilst supporting local producers,” says Adam.
The new Garden Room menu features starters such as smoked Ladybower trout and home-cured beef bresaola, mains including lamb, venison and beef from local farms, and plant-based dishes made from vegetables grown in the Chatsworth Kitchen Garden.
For quick bites, a range of sandwiches and speciality coffee is also available. Those looking for a one-of-a-kind experience can book the restaurant’s new kitchen table, where they’ll watch the chefs prepare a bespoke five-course tasting menu.
The Garden Room Design and Interior
The Garden Room has been designed in partnership with renowned interior designer Nicola Harding and overseen by Lady Burlington.
Neighbours, walkers, travellers and guests are invited to relax and enjoy in this bright new gathering place, which takes inspiration from Chatsworth art and interiors, and celebrates the best in local product and furniture design.
The refurbishment has also seen the addition of a large outdoor dining terrace with extensive views of the Chatsworth landscape, extending the restaurant’s capacity to 80, allowing the restaurant to welcome many more people living and staying in the local area, whether just to enjoy drinks or a dining experience.
The restaurant’s new look is phase one of planned extensive refurbishments to The Cavendish Hotel, with further investment planned for early next year in revamping its reception, lounge area, Gallery restaurant and 28 bedrooms.
The Garden Room at The Cavendish Hotel in Baslow is open from 12noon to 9pm.
For more information about The Garden Room or to book, visit devonshirehotels.co.uk