A Hotel of Two Parts.
We stayed at the Rossett Hall Hotel just outside of Wrexham as we were attending a funeral in Chester.
After we had booked the hotel for two nights, I received a nice email from Samm Vaughan on reception asking if we would like to make a booking for the restaurant. As we knew it would be a long drive from Poole and hence, we would not want to go out, I said yes. I also booked a table for four for the next evening as an old school friend and his lovely wife were staying at the hotel after the funeral.
I mentioned to Samm that we had just been upgraded by Best Western to a gold card and she immediately upgraded us to a “Superior” room.
Years ago, when I drove as part of my job, I would have done the trip from Poole in about 4:30 hours with just one stop. However, older now, I did not feel it necessary to rush things and we made several “comfort” stops for drinks, food and... I am sure you know what.
The weather for the majority of the trip was wet with the sun only making an appearance for the last 30 minutes or so. The traffic started off to be very heavy but evened out after a while. In the end the total travel time was a little over 7:30hours.
The hotel is in a nice position in a small village. It is an attractive building with plenty of on-site parking. Something we always look for when booking an hotel.
The general decor is comforting with lots of shades of soft greys. But not fifty!
Our ground floor room was near the reception and decorated in the same restful shades of grey. It was well furnished with two comfortable beds, an adequately sized wardrobe, bedside chests, two small but comfortable arm chairs, a small table and a good quality TV. The whole hotel is nice and warm.
The bathroom was very modern with a nice two headed shower. One fixed and one wandering. The water, very hot came on instantly without the need to run the taps for ages. The bathroom was also warm... in fact, rather too warm for my tastes, with a scorchingly hot towel rail. The only real downside with the bathroom iwas that the water pressure could be a bit higher. But that is a location problem and nothing within the control of the hotel.
And so, to the down side...
We went into the restaurant at 19:00 and were offered our choice of table.
As has become usual for us we decided against a starter, living in hopes of a pudding.
Jean ordered the vegetable meat loaf and I ordered the pheasant breast.
The waiter came back to say that unfortunately there was no vegetable meatloaf. Consequently, Jean ordered the mushroom, spinach and lentil strudel.
For drinks it was the usual tonic for Jean and a large glass of an excellent Malbec for me.
We sipped and talked and time passed pleasantly.
The bar and restaurant area is comfortable and pleasantly decorated in what appears to be the hotel’s theme colours of several shades of grey. This might seem a bit dour but is surprisingly attractive and restful.
All the staff we met and had dealings with were been lovely, well trained and attentive.
Our dinners arrived in two large bowls. In Jean’s was what looked like a large “spring roll” and a goodly portion of mixed fresh vegetables.
In my bowl, placed upon a small pile of puy green lentils was a rather dry looking pheasant breast. It was supposed to be “pan fried” and served with carrots and a jus.
Well, there were indeed carrots, or rather two very small pieces of very soft carrot. The whole looked as though it had been sitting in an oven until the jus had dried away completely. I tried to cut the breast and it was tougher than a piece of leather.
It was quickly removed by the waiter with a promise of a freshly cooked one as soon as the chef could make it ready. I was offered and accepted a complementary glass of wine while I waited.
Jean’s “spring roll” was a little better as the vegetables were nice. However, the filo pastry was also overcooked on the outside and a little undercooked and tough on the inside. She would not let me send it back as she was enjoying the other vegetables.
My freshly cooked pheasant eventually arrived. The skin had been left on and was undercooked and rubbery. It should have been crisp from the pan frying. But once removed the breast was edible (just), if tasteless! Once again, I was glad of having my own teeth.
The puy lentils were nice but again the promised carrots turned out to be two very small pieces of squidgy, almost unidentifiable, grey coloured lumps!
I told the waiter it was ok but really felt badly let down and thought that they really need to change their supplier of game.
In my youth I shot pheasant on a rough shoot and they were always hung for at least 7-10 days before being skinned. I think that that night’s travesty was frozen and not skinned but plucked and had not been hung at all.
The deserts were also not as good as we had hoped for.
Jean’s apple tart Tatin seemed to be just a round of flaky pastry with the apple sliced over it and not made the correct way. But she said it was “ok”.
My mulled pears Frangipane tart had one very small sliver of pear in a rather heavy and thick Frangipane baked in an overly crisp pastry case. Edible but not the light delight I had hoped for. I have made apple frangipane many times and know what it should have been like.
Breakfast however, was lovely. Served as a buffet with extras such as smoked fish and poached eggs to be ordered separately. There was plenty of choice and everything was of good quality and well presented.
Once again, the staff were excellent.
Fortunately, the meal the following night with our friends, was a different matter. All dishes turned out to be well cooked and tasty which made up for the previous night.
Peter & Jean. :o) less
Explore23609599748, Manager at Rossett Hall Hotel, responded to this review
Thank you for taking the time to complete our guest survey following your recent stay with us.
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