Dishes Best Served In Spring
There’s a glimpse of spring in the air, daffodils, snowdrops, longer days and spring time food, writes Emma Brereton. Photography: SusieQPhotography.co.uk
The first signs of spring are lovely, blossoms, the hope for warmer weather and new life. And with a new season comes a new menu from head chef Roger Varley at Shaw Hill Golf Resort & Spa Hotel. Launching on 15th March, the menu is currently in its final stages of development, taking inspiration from local produce, colours of the season and traditional tastes with a modern twist.
Roger, who has been head chef at the hotel since August 2017, is looking forward to his first spring and summer season. His previous experience, which spans 25 years, has been spent at leading hotels and restaurants as well as one of the top north west football clubs.
“My focus with this menu is to provide great quality and beautiful dishes,” says Roger. “I am passionate about my role as head chef. I am always thinking about food, where to get inspiration, how to develop a dish and what will ‘wow’ our diners. For me it’s all about their experience.”
The whole dining experience is something the team at Shaw Hill Golf Resort & Spa Hotel are keen to demonstrate. “We want our guests to feel completely at ease,” says Oliver Gardiner hotel manager.
“When you book to dine with us, the table is yours for the evening and our team is here to ensure you have a true fine dining experience.”
Oliver explains that as a guest, you’re greeted in the lounge area, coats taken and drinks ordered. Your waiter then takes you through the menu, advising on accompanying wines whilst canapés are served before you’re seated for dinner. The emphasis is certainly on the guest being able to take their time without being rushed.
The glorious grade II listed stone mansion was built circa 1700 by the Crosse family and amazingly is still a family run business. Set in a stunning location close to Buckshaw, the hotel specialises in leisure, weddings, conferences and golf breaks, enjoying a reputation for fantastic food and beautiful scenery in a relaxed environment.
“Anyone can come and dine here,” says Oliver. “We want it to be special with a relaxed touch. We are open every breakfast lunch and dinner, seven days a week. We encourage families, children eat free on a Sunday and can order any meal from the menu, we just provide a smaller portion.”
New dishes include Bowland reared homemade corned beef, Ribble Valley lamb duo, and salmon cheesecake with gravlax, and Chardonnay pearls.
“The salmon cheesecake is one of my most favourite dishes to make,” says Roger. “It’s a complex dish that I was inspired to develop from a take on a salmon panna cotta that a chef I worked with created.”
The desserts also capture the tastes of spring and summer with refreshing bursts of taste. Expect lemon tart, white chocolate and passion fruit cheesecake and something chocolatey – chocolate torte with toasted hazelnuts, lemon balm and orange sorbet.
Roger has high hopes for the future of the restaurant, with ambitions to enter awards such as the AA Rosettes. The Rosette scheme is an award made solely on the basis of a meal visit or visits by one or more AA hotel and restaurant inspectors. “The AA Rosettes are very much sought after in this industry,” says Roger. “We have an excellent reputation in the area for the food we serve so there’s no reason we shouldn’t enter awards like this.
Roger adds: “I am about to trial a range of BBQ dishes for the Summer. BBQ pork belly with charred corn, a slow braised rib and a sweet element like grilled pineapple.”
The hotel bar also offers other menus including homemade bar snacks, and Afternoon teas which are served looking out on to the stunning 18th hole.
Bookings are now being taken for Mothering Sunday on 11th March. All families are welcome and the menu is priced at £24.95 a head.
For Shaw Hill Restaurant Chorley, reservations can be made by calling 01257 269221 or please use our online booking system at: www.shaw-hill.co.uk
Shaw Hill Golf Resort & Spa Hotel
Whittle Le Woods
Near Buckshaw, Chorley PR6 7PP