Restaurant Review: The Richmond Arms - Goodwood
PUBLISHED: 11:10 02 December 2013 | UPDATED: 11:10 02 December 2013
Faye Lindeck finds that things go from good to great at The Richmond Arms, where both the food and the atmosphere leave her wanting more
We were greeted warmly on arrival by the staff, who gave us time enough to soak up the atmosphere as we sipped wine in the lounge bar, before being taken to our table in the adjoining converted barn – a romantic, modern-style restaurant, which offered both glamour and comfort as we dined.
Having been seated we shared the Goodwood bread board, and I was impressed to note that all the ingredients and seasonings were sourced from the Goodwood Estate – the selection included a delicious rosemary focaccia, the firm favourite of the table, with rosemary picked from the herb garden by the door.
With so many appealing variations on traditional English dishes, picking a starter was tricky. Our choices were the Goodwood cheese soufflé, the pigeon and duck terrine and the fried scallops. Conversation came to an awed pause when the beautifully presented plates arrived, and words were soon replaced with murmurs of approval. The soufflé in particular was very light and flavoursome. The terrine was rich in flavour and the scallops were beautifully cooked – they came on a bed of creamed leeks and were seasoned with finely chopped bacon.
Head chef Simon Wills then took the time to join us to explain his background – he has worked in both French and English Michelin-starred restaurants. It was he who created the feasting menu, which we were to sample next, designed for families and friendsas a social dining experience. “The idea is for families to come together and enjoy traditional Sunday roast dishes.”
As part of this, we ate the shoulder of lamb and the beef and bacon pie. The meat had all been reared, prepared and cooked on the Estate, and prior to cooking had been bathed in water for over 10 hours, to bring out the flavour. The golden pie arrived with a large tagine, a selection of vegetables and a horseradish mashed potato. The meat was succulent, seasoned perfectly and was well matched by our waiter’s wine recommendation, a 2010 La Courolle Bordeaux.
As we all felt delightfully full, it was touch and go as to whether we would be able to squeeze in desserts, but we were all soon won over by the menu, which included: baked ginger pudding; an apple, blackberry and cobnut crumble; and the show-stealing peanut parfait. The latter was gorgeously light and came with a strong cherry sorbet – the perfect treat.
We felt relaxed and pampered by the waiting staff, who ensured that our every need was catered for in a polite and friendly manner.
The food was not only impressively presented but tasted incredible. We will all certainly be returning soon, to show off this destination eatery.
The Richmond Arms, Goodwood, 01243 775537; www.goodwood.co.uk