In the Royal Tunbridge Wells Hotel One Warwick Park is an À la carte restaurant L’AMORE. On a Tuesday night two of us dined in the restaurant after pre-dinner cocktails in the sleek bar across the road in the main reception building we headed into L’AMORE to be greeted by a stunning chandelier and also attentive staff.
Chelsey looked after us as we sat down to a glass of champagne while perusing the menu. Our table over looked the old High Street of Royal Tunbridge Wells with a great view for people watching! The music played was chilled and not too loud to not hear yourself or the staff when asking questions, I have seen that they do have live music on some occasions. The restaurant has lots of choice and a set menu as well if you wish to partake in it: 2 courses for £15.50 or 3 courses for £20.50. The wine menu has grower champagnes, big names and the servings were generous by the glass.
For starters we had caramelised pumpkin gnocchi with slow braised oxtail, barlo and parmesan. This dish was meaty like a ragu, it was juicy and the gnocchi was light and soft like little pillows of sweet potato. Overall more could have been eaten! The other starter was a crab and shrimp risotto, crème fraiche, fennel puree, parmesan and lemon oil. This dish was a great start to the meal as risotto can sometimes get boring but this fishy dish was full of flavour, light and worked well with the wine choice: Giulietta Tommasi – is fresh and vibrant, with flavours of white flowers and peach.
For the main event seared black bream fillet marinated in salmoriglio, shelfish ketchup, chargrilled vegetables and saffron potatoes. The fish was served with the skin on and was a meaty fish with the addition of the shelfish ketchup the flavour was sweet like a jam. One downside was the potatoes being undercooked but the chargrilled vegetables were highly tasty – like they had been barbequed. The fennel added another taste dimension to this interesting dish. The other main chosen was pan fried scampi thermidor, chervil, vermouth mustard, parmesan and saffron rice. This dish had a strong smell of saffron – it was like a fish curry the scampi was plump and fresh and the rice al dente. But sadly this dish was one dimensional with the food turning a tad boring half way through – it needed the chargrilled vegetables served with the bream, luckily additional vegetable were ordered – courgette fries and seasonal vegetables which helped add a different flavour to the scampi.
Francesca then came to look after us and suggested an Italian cheese board. After hearing about the choices the cheese was then ordered – Taleggio, gorgonzola and pecorino cheeses were served with crackers, chutney, grapes and celery. It was a good size portion of cheese and enough to share. Very different flavours and smells with the cheese and interesting to try some new ones.
After cheese dessert was needed and the two ordered were Affogato el caffe Frangelico liqueur, double espresso, vanilla ice cream and chocolate dipped honeycomb – it was like a posh crunchie bar! Affogato was bitter, strong coffee taste with the double espresso and worked well with the flavour of the almost burnt honeycomb. This was not a sugar rush dessert compared to our second order the famous One Warwick Park Eskimo bars! These are chocolate brownie & vanilla ice cream dipped bars in chocolate with hot salted caramel sauce. As you can imagine it was very chocolatey and sweet! It was well presented and a real must for chocolate lovers like me! It is also on the room service menu and I was tempted to order it for breakfast as it was sublime!
Highlights of the meal were the wine chosen for the dishes these all worked really well and the desserts were a real stand out. Also the staff make the place enjoyable with great service and helping with decisions and importantly giving just enough time between courses to relax, enjoy the atmosphere and wine!
L’AMORE is one not to miss if you are in Royal Tunbridge Wells as the taste of Italy can be found in the heart of Kent.
1 Warwick Park