I was invited by The Walton to attend its Press Night to toast the arrival of the festive season. It was a select gathering where we had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the newly styled restaurant and rooms. Many thanks to Front of House George and Operations Manager Paul Stafford for the tour of the hotel.
The Walton is a Grade II listed property and 19th century hunting lodge, which has been sympathetically refurbished to make it a stunning destination of choice. It is a bar, restaurant and hotel, and what I love about it, is that non-residents are welcome to dine and enjoy the delicious, inventive array of food.
There is a tree of epic proportions that just about made it into the main room. This set the scene for a delightful, festive evening.
The Walton is a grand institution steeped in traditionalism, given a contemporary twist. The restaurant is cosy yet expansive. It boasts sweeping views across the terrace that doubles up for a heater-lit space should you be in the mood for an al fresco tipple or even dining (just layer up and you’ll be fine).
We took a seat at the bar, to revel in the festive ambiance, sipping on a selection of bar manager Rory’s creations from his Winter Cocktail Menu. Spiced Apple Martini had a whisper light undercurrent of cinnamon; I especially liked the home-made spiced Schnapps that took one month in the making.
The Democrat had a warming whisky base, tempered with soft peach and given a light lemon lift which came through really well on the swallow.
For starter, we both had the pan seared king scallops (cauliflower purée, cauliflower beignets, black pudding crumb, pan jus). Presentation was striking, the universal accent of cauliflower subtle and creamy, and the scallops with that perfect translucent middle. I loved the beignets, which were light in texture and highly moreish (these French fritters could easily be my snack of choice when visiting the cinema or chilling out watching Netflix).
My main of roasted belly of pork (black pudding bon bon, creamed potatoes, red cabbage jam, Walton apple and cider jus) was generous and beautifully plated. Pull-apart pork was rendered perfectly, and the addition of cider jus an inventive twist on the classic combination of pork and apple. Sides of fries and vegetables were very good too, with the autumn vegetable take a pleasant surprise as I wasn’t expecting courgette (I love courgette and use it in everything from cakes to pasta dishes).
Dining partner had 10 oz 28-day matured Derbyshire centre-cut Sirloin steak (skinny fries, field mushroom, slow-roasted tomato, peppercorn sauce). Cooked medium rare with the perfect amount of pink, the steak was butter soft and a joy to eat (his words verbatim). I swiped some fries through the peppercorn sauce and loved it. (I adore good peppercorn sauce and wish this was a permanent fixture on all menus residing under the ‘dips section’.)
Dessert of double chocolate fudge nut brownie (chocolate sauce, vanilla ice-cream) did not disappoint. Luxuriously dense mouthfuls of brownie enrobed in rich chocolate sauce was a chocoholic’s dream.
Dining partner found the tartlet au citron (raspberry coulis, raspberry sorbet) a light, refreshing end to his meal. The forkful I ate had deliciously short pastry and perfectly set creamy custard.
It’s a super menu with many highlights and I am still thinking of those beignets. George, Rory et al are superstars whose warm smiles and gracious demeanour will guarantee your return. I will definitely go back for great drinks, delicious food and convivial company – see you Team Walton very soon.
Restaurant name: The Walton Nottingham
Address: 2 North Road, The Park Estate, Nottingham, NG7 1AG UK
Breakfast: Mon-Fri 7am – 10am / Sat-Sun 8am-10am
Lunch: Mon-Fri 4pm – 10pm
Sat 12pm – 10pm/
Sunday Lunch 12pm – 6pm (bookings recommended for weekend service and Sunday Lunch)
How to make reservation: Telephone
Call: 0115 947 5215
Head Chef: Jack Morley
Whilst in the area: Check out The Coffee House of Nottingham in Hurts Yard just off Upper Parliament Street. They sell delicious coffee to take home (available either ground or full bean).