With Capability Brown gardens rolling across the horizon towards a rippling lake, there are few restaurants in Greater London that could rival that of the King & Lamb when it comes to views.
Set among 26 acres of serene landscape, the King & Lamb is the recently refurbished restaurant at Stoke Place hotel; nestled on the Buckinghamshire border with west London.
The King and Lamb – named after the estate’s first owner, Patrick Lamb, a loyal cook for historic royal figures including Charles II, James II, Mary and Queen Anne – is found on the rear side of the former Stately Home, overlooking the incredibly impressive grounds. Restaurant manager, and our server for the day, Mark, led us through to a window-side table in the bright and airy room.
With a glass of bubbles to get us in the mood, my companion and I were presented with the lunchtime menus and left to enjoy our surroundings while deciding on dishes. The atmosphere in The King and Lamb is a relaxed one considering the formal and historic surroundings, and we soon found ourselves chatting eagerly without worrying about offending fellow diners. The room bustles when busy but isn’t echoey when less full – a good trait for a venue offering long lunches and afternoon teas daily. It means you can take your time with food and thought, enjoying the surroundings without feeling ill at ease.
The set lunch menu – at a very reasonable £19.95 for two courses and £24.95 for three – offers a choice from three dishes on each course, but the chef is happy to adapt according to dietary requirements, so my weird coconut allergy posed no problem when exploring the vegetarian options. I decided on the Garden Beetroot starter – a juicy and sweet dish of marinated beetroots paired with soft and light Tunworth cheese and topped with a delicious cabernet sauvignon marinade. My friend found herself singing the praises of her cod croquette served with poached cod cheek and an airy curry foam. The starters were light but packed with flavour, and a good indicator of what was to follow.
Options of a seabream fillet served with crispy chicken wings and white beans and morels, and a smoked pork tenderloin with a grain mustard mash, had my companion salivating with indecision and anticipation for her main course. And I awaited with curiosity my main course of Yorkshire cauliflower cous cous. When it arrived it was a sight to behold – giant beads of Jerusalem cous cous delicately blended with a cauliflower cream and served around spiced panisse, with a sweet shallot puree and crispy bite-size florets of cauliflower. Beautifully presented, the dish was also deceptively filling thanks to the spiced chickpea panisse which were delicious.
As we relaxed into the plush seats and let our lunch settle, my friend and I admired the grounds once more. The King and Lamb is easily accessed from London, a mere 18 minutes train ride from Paddington then five minute taxi or 25 minute walk from Slough station, but once you’re inside you might as well be a million miles from the bustling streets and damp smog of the capital.
We finished off our meals by indulging in the incredible deconstructed lemon meringue pie, served with sweet poached blueberries and a scoop of blackberry ice cream. And while my dining partner enjoyed a fresh espresso I took manager Mark’s excellent advice and sipped a smooth Montepulciano.
By the time we were ready to leave, lunch had lasted almost four hours! The atmosphere and elegance of the King and Lamb allows appreciation of the food you are served and surroundings you find yourself in, and it’s hard to drag yourself away. But drag ourselves we did, with promises of returning soon to sample an evening meal, and cocktails in the adjoining Butterfly Bar, as well as booking in for an immersive Murder Mystery dinner at Hallowe’en if we’re feeling brave enough!
- The King and lamb restaurant at Stoke Place hotel is open seven days a week and offers a range of dining options from set lunches to Sunday Roasts. For more information, to browse the menus or book a table, click here.