The William Cecil offers a taste of elegance
Barbara Young enjoys a classic British dining experience in noble surroundings at Stamford’s historic William Cecil hotel.
Ideally located just a stone’s throw from the A1 in the popular historic town of Stamford, The William Cecil hotel and restaurant, adjacent to the renowned Burghley estate, is a splendid example of aristocratic elegance but without any pomp or pretension.
Step inside its grand glass and flagstone entrance hall and you’ll find yourself warmly welcomed by the friendly and efficient team of staff who set the tone for the evening.
The award-winning restaurant has two AA Rosettes, serving classic British cuisine to both residents and non-residents alike, offering a casual approach to fine dining with a modern twist.
The hotel, which is part of the Hillbrooke luxury group, takes its influence from the grand state rooms at neighbouring Burghley House.
The hotel building was originally built in the 18th century as part of the Burghley Estate and Burghley House, which was designed by William Cecil, Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I, between 1555 and 1587.
The restaurant echoes a cosy country house style, with wood flooring, soft lighting, and warm tones, with just the right volume of non-intrusive background music making you feel relaxed and comfortable.
Locally sourced produce
The evening dining menu, which changes with the seasons, offers guests a selection of well balanced dishes featuring local, fresh and seasonal ingredients, with all dishes beautifully presented, together with a small and carefully selected wine list.
One of us chose to start with the fillet of mackerel, with fennel and ponzu puree and braised chicory. This featured a subtle blend of delicate flavours surrounding the gently cooked fish with a salt skin and the addition of an Asian inspired puree which complemented the plate perfectly.
We were also torn between choosing the ham hock terrine with house chutney or the goat’s cheese mousse with preparations of beetroot, which sounded intriguing, so this was our eventual choice for our second starter.
The goat’s cheese dish looked like a work of art and tasted just as good too – it was soft, delicate, smooth and light and served with an attractive selection of beetroot morsels, including crisps and candied pieces.
To follow, there was a wide choice of main dishes to suit all tastes, including sirloin steak, battered beer fish, and William Cecil burger, but we selected the pork tenderloin and breast of Lincolnshire chicken.
The soft and succulent pork, supplied by local award-winning Grasmere Farm butchers, was accompanied by creamed potato, celeriac, with pear ketchup and a drizzle of sherry vinegar which brought the whole sophisticated dish together.
We also relished the succulent breast of free range chicken with hash potatoes, crispy cabbage with confit swede, butternut squash and spring onion – each element adding to the overall enjoyment of each mouthful.
To finish we chose an assortment of five British artisan cheeses with celery, quince, grapes and crackers. These included Lincolnshire Poacher, Stinking Bishop, Yarg, Kidderton Ash and Barkham Blue – a generous selection all served on a wooden platter.
We also couldn’t resist ordering the dark chocolate mousse, featuring a crispy exterior and a salted caramel cheesecake, on top of chocolate soil and blackberry which offered exactly the right balance between sweet and salty – total indulgence!
Although the restaurant was full of happy diners it never felt crowded or noisy; there’s plenty of space in this stylish restaurant with its timeless décor.
The service from the hospitality team was attentive and gracious, which more than matched the finery of the food, making for a pleasurable evening in a relaxed environment.
For those who don’t want to drive home after dinner, why not enjoy an extended break and stay overnight in one of the individually decorated rooms with original features and modern touches, including ensuite bathrooms with luxury toiletries.
Also a popular wedding venue, the hotel is ideal for corporate events with three meeting rooms which can accommodate from 10 to 120 delegates, with wireless internet throughout and plenty of natural light.
The William Cecil lends itself perfectly to both leisure and business clients, who are guaranteed a warm welcome from charming staff who pride themselves on going that extra mile with a smile!
Tel: 01780 750070