Fairways Restaurant, Kenwick Park Hotel, Louth
Caroline Bingham visited the Fairways Restaurant and Keepers Conservatory at Kenwick Park Hotel.
It is a beautiful setting for all of the amenities at Kenwick Park. The evening we drove into the estate the woodlands were filled with successive beds of flowering spring bulbs – and how the amenities have grown too. The Club Spa is the newest addition but Retreat Lodges and a large gazebo situated in gardens have all added to the venue’s appeal as a destination resort for business or leisure stays, weddings and special occasions, conferences and of course golfers.
We visited on a Friday evening and chose to be shown straight to our table in the conservatory. This is a large, airy room which enjoys plenty of natural light and pleasant views across the gardens. In summer the doors open directly onto the patio and lawns. Our smiling and friendly waiting staff suggested a choice of gin for me (Tanqueray 10) and brought us water and bread rolls.
Friday offers one of the restaurant’s themed menus alongside the regular à la carte. The first Tuesday in the month is Tapas Tuesday, Wednesday hosts a Supper Club with choices such as Pie Night, Italian, Chinese, Best of British or Burger Night; Thursday is Steak Night and Friday is Fish Night. At £29.95 per couple for two courses with a bottle of wine included, these are attractively priced dining out options.
I began with a prawn, crab and crayfish cocktail served with sweet chilli mayonnaise and coriander. Fresh and light seafood, the dressing had a heat which did not overpower and with crisp lettuce this is a classic dish. My companion chose salmon fish cakes, served with lemon mayonnaise. Delicate and crispy, the fishcake spheres were declared a perfect balance with the dressing.
Other choices for starter were cream of mushroom soup served with oregano croutons, Buffalo mozzarella and vine tomato served with olive tapenade and basil oil or a salad of goat’s cheese with marinated olives, Parma ham and red onion.
For our main courses, the £29.95 choices were scampi tails served with hand cut chips and garden peas or beer battered fresh Grimsby haddock served with hand cut chips, mushy peas and tartare sauce. My fellow diner plumped for fish and chips while I went for salmon Mediterranean linguine with tomato, chilli and garlic sauce. The other option at this price was king prawn risotto with peas, samphire, chives and fresh lemon.
The haddock was indeed wonderfully fresh and the hand cut chips were twice fried so beautifully crisp. A classic, well executed. My linguine was a very generous portion, full of flavour, a glow of heat from the chilli and contrasting texture with large chunks of salmon, tomato and herbs. It was crying out for a piece of garlic bread perhaps but this would have been too much for me to manage on this occasion.
There are extra sides which could be ordered at £2.25 each including onion rings, creamy mashed potato, buttered new potatoes, steamed mixed vegetables, or a tossed mixed salad but these were certainly something which we had no room on our plates or unsated hunger for.
We did decide to try the desserts, which again, if you want three courses, you can pay an additional price for. The choice was between sticky toffee sundae with butterscotch sauce, a selection of cheese and biscuits, with grapes and homemade fruit chutney, a selection of ices and sorbets or a fruit of the forest Eton mess with crème Chantilly and berry coulis. We found room for the sticky toffee and Eton mess; just enough to satisfy that sweet craving at the end of the meal.
The other tables in the conservatory had filled up around us with couples and larger parties; a nice buzz and atmosphere to the room without chatter overwhelming our conversation. In this hotel, the conservatory does create an atmosphere and intimacy which more corporate establishments might lack. The waiting staff had been particularly helpful, friendly and efficient.
The Sunday Lunch Carvery offers a similar choice of two or three courses starting at £16.95 per adult and there are other signature events coming up.
Treat your dad on Father’s Day (Sunday 18th June) to a three course carvery – the price of £22.95 per adult includes a gift for dad. On Friday 14th July there is a summer evening’s Gin & Jazz followed by a two course meal and coming up in October is a Murder Mystery – Strictly Come Murder, with sleuthing and a three course meal.
Why not combine any of these visits with an overnight stay and make a relaxing break of your visit?