Castle Ashby, Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
"It's a beautiful space, i mean really beautiful - what they've managed to achieve is extraordinary and completely unlike anything within 40 miles. It's full of potential, and a very positive addition to the area that deserves to do extremely well. All the right ingredients are there, but they need time to bring them together. Making any judgement on a place that has been open for only 2 weeks and particularly in the current climate may be considered unfair, and there is nothing broken here, it's just some elements need rebalancing in my opinion. There's a difficult balancing act. It needs to be affordable enough to attract regulars, but special enough to justify the huge investment and feel like a destination. I'm sure they will find the right balance soon. The dictionary defines Eyas as a juvenile or untrained falcon. Based on our experience, i'd say that there is still some maturity to be realised. Dinner and drinks came to £250 per couple, which is London prices, and Michelin Starred London prices at that (and more than St Helena or Hibiscus, the nearest local comparisons i can think of). Having been lucky enough to go to quite a lot of good restaurants over the years, i'd say they have a little way to go. It's not bad, in fact i'd say the food is very good - the halibut was absolutely divine, the venison slightly underwhelming (although the ragu was superb!), and the desserts were phenomenal - tarte tatin was every bit as good as the one i had to wait 40 mins for at Gordon Ramsey. Mark is clearly an excellent chef, but the pricing simply doesn't match the quality of the food yet. £60 for 3 courses + sides (£7 each) is punchy. It's also somewhat incongruous. The sides are really pub sides, the wine list is very reasonable but can't decide if it's a pub list or a Michelin list - £14 for a 125ml of LPR on one end and then only £27 for a bottle of Primitivo on the other. Why produce lovely food menus and then give a cheap, laminated wine list? They seem to want the best of both worlds, but don't quite deliver on either. A few other small things rankled, but luckily all of them easily fixed. The service is not there yet - no one offered to take our coats when we came in and then only when i mentioned it, was mine taken, but not our other friends'. We waited an age to be asked for drinks, and then almost immediately food orders were taken and food arrived. If there were 2 sittings i'd understand, but for one 4-hour sitting, i feel they could have spread it out a bit. There was no signage in the hotel, so entirely unclear where to go when we came in, and when we left, there were no lights on in the garden, so we had to use phone torches to navigate back to the carpark. The cocktails were served in completely the wrong glasses - a martini should be served in a martini glass, not a wine glass. The main bar was also far too bright - a few lumens lower would have created a much cosier experience - it felt a little corporate,"
"I've been really looking forward to the reopening of The Falcon at Castle Asbhy for a long time. From the moment I walked in, I was excited to see how beautiful the decor was and how spacious the hotel/restaurant and gardens are . The staff were very attentive and settled us at our table for pre drinks. The Sunday lunch was delicious and very generous size portions. The roast beef was perfectly cooked, with some of the best roasties I've eaten in a restaurant for a long time. The Plum crumble was first class too. It was good value in a beautiful setting and I will definitely be coming back to support this stunning venue which is much needed in this area of Northamptonshire."
"The restaurant is superb. Decor amazing and staff friendly and helpful. We used to come to the Falcon in the old days but the new hotel is something else! The food is top notch and the wine list very reasonably priced. We hope to become regulars again. Northamptonshire needs this top notch restaurant - thank you! "