Our original plan was to have a bite to eat in the Four Seasons lavish Bar 1086. But then hubby came over all romantic and wanted to make a night of it. So we started with a tipple in the bar, then an indulgent evening of gastronomy in the hotels French European Seasons restaurant.
To reach the Seasons restaurant at the Four Seasons Hampshire hotel you drive up a long neat track through Dogmersfield Park towards the immaculate Georgian manor house, passing the hotels Equestrian Centre. There’s something thrilling about reaching a destination with horses around.
At the entrance you are always greeted with a warm smile and an eagerness to help. I’m in a rush to get in and say ‘hi’ to the hotel’s dog, who is usually hanging around the reception or lobby area.
No sign of the lovely black Labrador, but the flowers are pretty.
To get to the bar you leave the Georgian house and go through the courtyard to one of the wings. It’s all completely covered tho’ and you get to see smart gardens outside and elegant flower arrangements inside.
Both Bar 1086 and Seasons restaurant are down these rather glam stairs.
We were greeted in a flawless manner and smoothly settled in comfy seats in the bar with all relevant staff informed of who we were and when we were eating. Fantastic, no watch checking for us, I have a feeling we will be graciously ‘moved on’ at just the right moment.
Bar 1086 is gorgeously elegant and swish.
Feeling looked after we peruse the cocktail menu,
enjoying the sunlight that floods through every window.
Our Italian waiter was great and we were soon showing him photos of our puppy and learning about Italy and the art of cocktail making.
It was the perfect occasion to wear my Silver May Love Bangles.
The cocktails are grown up and sophisticated.
From nibbles in the bar to bread at our table in the Seasons restaurant.
Hubby went for their recommended starter. Mainly I think because of the ale that glazes the chicken wings. The craft golden ale, 1086, is available exclusively in Bar 1086 and is used in some of the chefs dishes. It is created for the hotel by a local, family-run brewery Andwells and is inspired by the Hampshire countryside.
Chicken Wings – Ale Glazed, Poached Egg, Smoked English Pancetta, Watercress, Smoked Chicken Jus
Orkney Scallops – Gentleman Relish, Brown Shrimps, Sea Vegetables, Endive, Cobnut Praline
Cornish Lamb – Confit Shoulder, Lamb Rack, Fennel Purée, Onion Textures
Beef Tenderloin – Liver Pate, Beans Ragout, Girolle, Spicy Tomato Compote, Butter Milk
This little complimentary refresher course was cold and juicy and sweet and refreshing all at once. It cleansed the palette ready for dessert.
Chocolate Raspberries – Bergamot – Spiced Soup
Ok, before you baulk at the look of this dessert, this is a shot of the dessert after all the action and excitement. You see, it had a chocolate sphere over the top. All shiny and smart. The waiter poured the soup over the sphere, which melted to reveal the raspberries and other treats beneath. We filmed it – but the focus was poor because of the steam!
1086 Ale Chocolate Fondant – Ale Caramel, Burnt Milk Ice Cream
By now, the sun was setting. Through the restaurants Georgian windows we see a palette of pink, orange and yellow sky.
We decide to take our coffee and remaining red wine outside on the terrace. This is an evening to savour.
The staff have been exemplary throughout the evening and have thought of everything. We feel relaxed and taken care of.
As we watch the sun go down we sip our coffee and enjoy more delicious indulgences.
As we looked over Dogmersfield Park, we could see a neat looking chicken pen, where children staying at the hotel can go in the morning and pick their own eggs for breakfast. There was also a clay pigeon shooting area set up. We spotted a zip-wire that looked great fun and somewhere hidden from us was a HighWire adventure. Personally I would love the falconry most of all. It’s probably all those historical novels I’ve been reading!
We hadn’t realised how many things there were to do as guests here.
With the arrival of dusk but reluctant to leave, we wander back into the hotel. Bar 1086 looked great at this time of night. So we made ourselves a promise to have a leisurely evening here one day soon.
Homage to the 1086 Ale.
They have a lot to be proud of at the Four Seasons Hotel. They put the guest first, listen to feedback, and seem to enjoy their guests. I saw one waitress high-fiving a little child in the Seasons restaurant. I’m so glad they are still grounded among the grandeur. It makes for a great atmosphere.
No sign of the hotel dog until we reach the main door. He was happily trotting round the feet of squealing children who were so excited to see him. He wasn’t fazed at all. What a pro. Even he understands the hotels philosophy of connecting with the guests and making them feel home away from home.
You should check out when my daughter and I came for Afternoon Tea in the Library that’s a pretty room too.