Hartnett, Holder & Co is a relaxed, stylish and comfortable upscale restaurant which full of character, yet unpretentious, and located at the prestigious country hotel of Lime Wood. Angela Hartnett and Lime Wood’s Luke Holder, with their team, create English dishes with a respectful nod to the seasons and with an Italian twist. This collaboration is reflected in their fresh, confident approach, ensuring that this is “fun dining, not fine dining”. This is a tranquil, tasteful and relaxed restaurant which is full of charm.
On the day we dined there, we were greeted by Charlie who took us to our table. The restaurant has low light and is furnished in style which feels like home. We could have happily chosen most of the dishes on the menu. We asked our waiter Charlie for his recommendations and went by these. His knowledge of the menu, the fresh product use, the sourcing and cooking was most helpful and enlightening.
Her Ladyship started with Coda Uova Affumicato, being a tasty creamy sieved cod roe with a light texture accompanied by pork crackling, sliced julienne radishes and rye crackers. I had the Smoke House Board consisting of smoked salmon, smoked brisket, smoked white wine pork and pickle with a light aniseed flavour and crunchy vegetables. This was delicious with all the foods smoked in the Lime Wood smoke house – an appetising way to start the meal.
For the main course, Her Ladyship had Beaulieu Estate venison, orzo, spinach and rosemary. The orzo is a form of short-cut pasta, shaped like a large grain of rice, that went well with the meat. The venison was tender and pink, beautifully presented, and a good size portion that was exceptionally moist and sublime. The flavours of the marinade were bold enough to balance the essence of the dish – magnificent in every way. For my main course, I decided on the rose veal chop, parmesan crust and roasted celery. The veal was pink and tasty with the parmesan crust subtle and not overpowering the delicate flavour of the meat. We shared pink fur potatoes, sweet and sour carrots and deep fried courgettes which were a great accompaniment to the meal, each one tasting delicious!
To accompany the main meal, we selected a Bonarda 2009 Limited Edition Menzoa from Argentina. This red wine with blueberry flavours and soft tannins has great concentration and intensity contributing rich, ripe flavors to the grapes that do not come at the expense of acidity having a distinct mineralogy, savoury, sweet oak and old vine concentration – truly sumptuous with a sustained round finish
For the dessert, Her Ladyship can never pass up the chance of good tiramisu and the one at Hartnett, Holder & Co is a different experience with the surprise of nuts and chocolate ganache at the base. I had the excitements of grapefruit and Campari jelly which, with the addition of cream, was refreshing and not overly sweet. These desserts were a light way to end the meal and, like everything else, very tasty!
With a degree in Medicine and Surgery, a diploma in Homeopathy, Clinical Phytotheraphy and Iridology as well as being a diet and nutrition teacher, Dr. Spieza’s products are used exclusive to Merchants Manor.
We had the pleasure of trying the Organic face cleanser, the floral face tonic, the organic firm and tone oil and the organic line softener. It is created with cold-pressed oil, herbs and beeswax, leaving your skin feeling renewed and glowing.
We got the chance to see the Inlight laboratory tucked away in a farm a short drive away from the hotel. Their passion for creating inner and outer beauty with a strong set of ethics for their pure production values is apparent.
After the meal we relaxed with a digestif. Her Ladyship had Tokaji Furmint Dereszla 2008. This Hungarian dessert wine has a trademark honeysuckle aroma with a bone dry style, a nose of apricots, an intense acidity, flavours of bitter orange and apricots with a vein of minerality coursing through it. It has a long finish and absolutely superb. I had Rames Pinto Tawny Port. This is a single-estate wine, blended from a selection of vintages, averaging 20 years of age. The older wines contribute the characteristic tawny colour and mature fruit flavours, while the younger wines add freshness and vigour. To finish the experience, we had coffee. From walking through the door to leaving after a wonderful dinner, we had a really enjoyable time in the restaurant and, with helpful polite staff like Charlie and excellent food, the restaurant is a joy to visit whether staying at the hotel or just passing.