For stylish dining and an innovative menu, the 1907 Restaurant, Bar and Grill at the Brooklands Hotel is in pole position.
1907 Restaurant, Bar and Grill is in the Brooklands Hotel, the contemporary design-led property nestled in the Brooklands estate near Weybridge. The Brooklands site is home to one of Britain’s most famous racing circuits which was opened in 1907 – hence the restaurant’s name – by wealthy land owner Hugh Locke King. It was the scene of the earliest motor racing in the country during the 1920s and 1930s.
This is a stylish dining experience which takes its inspiration from racing heyday of the Twenties and Thirties. Think glossy modernist styling with a huge Art Deco influence. There are some quirky touches too, though, which nod to its motor racing and flying days like huge chrome propellors in the 1907 bar and the almost racing circuit style of the banquet seating in both bar and restaurant.
On Thursdays, there’s live music in the bar and restaurant which creates a very grown up feel and a lovely ambience. The night I visited, the resident musician was playing the likes of George Ezra and Coldplay which I really enjoyed.
SCOFF & QUAFF
I quite enjoy going for a drink before dinner – so having a bar that leads through to the restaurant was quite handy. We started with a cocktail – for me, a Champagne cocktail with passionfruit passoa and vanilla vodka called the Signature Selwyn Francis Edge after the racing driver, and a Aperol Spritz for him. It was great, and I was tempted by a second, but the lure of food was too strong.
The restaurant has been awarded two AA Rosettes for its British-inspired menu, great service and fine selection of wines – so expectations were high!
The menu here is thoroughly modern and quite honed, and yet not in anyway lacking in options with a small selection of starters also offered as mains (or is that mains offered as starters??!).
It’s rare that I’m indecisive about my menu choices, but the options here were all very tempting. Scallops or crab noodle salad? Roasted garlic risotto or forager’s tart? Decisions, decisions! In the end, I went for the pan seared scallops with a chilled broccoli soup, picked blueberries and Parmesan tuille. Mr M went for the forager’s tart.
Both were brilliant choices – the scallops succulent and the broccoli soup light and refreshing. Mr M said his tart was perfect.
For mains, I went for the goatfish schnitzel while Mr M plumped for the sirloin steak with a peppercorn sauce. The former was incredible and so imaginative. FYI: goatfish is part of the mullet family rather than anything of the four-legged variety. The steak was cooked to perfection.
For puds, or sweet endings, as they’re called here, I chose the Bramley apple brûlée while Mr M went for the salted chocolate torte – and both were a very good way to end a very fine meal. We lingered over our coffee – taking in the crooning of the musician and stretching out what was a lovely evening.
The hotel has 131 bedrooms and suites, many of which have views out over the Mercedes Benz track, so if you wanted to make a night – or even a weekend of it, you certainly could.
There’s a very grown up feel to the restaurant and bar, especially on a Thursday when there’s live music playing, but the hotel is family friendly so I don’t see well-behaved kids being a problem in the restaurant.
OUT & ABOUT
It’s all about the motor racing and aviation history here. Brooklands Museum is only a few minutes further along in the car, or a five minute walk, and Mercedez Benz World, offering off-road and track driving packages, is across the road. You’re also quite near Legoland Windsor and Painshill, the 18th century landscaped garden is also nearby. Or make a day of it and book into BSpa – Brookland’s spa – for a day of indulgence.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: I’d suggest this restaurant if you’re looking for somewhere to go for a special occasion. There’s plenty of space in the restaurant, so it could easily accommodate groups of friends or family gatherings. It would also be great for a couples get-together on the weekend.
Not for: If uber modern isn’t your thing, you probably won’t love the sleek and shiny styling of the hotel.
The damage: This is great value for the quality. Starters £7.50-£12.50; mains around the £22, with the steaks around the £30; puddings around £8.50.
1907 Restaurant, Bar and Grill, Brooklands Hotel, Brooklands Drive, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 0SL. Tel: 01932 800414. brooklandshotelsurrey.com