Wynyard Hall, which sits within the sprawling Wynyard estate in the heart of the Tees Valley has, over the years, successfully reinvented itself from private residence and then commercial office space into a luxury country hotel and spa, popular for weddings, fairs and other special occasions.
But in recent years, the team at Wynyard Hall has worked to make the estate more accessible to a wider audience, adding a rose garden, visitor centre, café and The Glasshouse, which hosts art and craft classes during the day.
The geographic location of Wynyard Hall, close to Billingham, has also made it a popular spot for regional businesses which use the country hotel as a base for meetings, events and larger conferences, given its accessibility from both the north and south of the region – and on to North Yorkshire.
Inside the main house, the Brasserie offers an elegant yet relaxed dining space that is ideal for a business lunch. And it was where my two colleagues and I ventured to last month to sample the new menu.
The menu in question combines fine dining with more hearty fare and was developed by executive head chef Mehdi Amiri. I found the dishes to be reasonably priced, with starters at around £8, mains between £9 and £23 and desserts around £5 each.
Over a period of two hours, my colleagues and I enjoyed three courses of well-executed cooking that showcased the quality and seasonality of the ingredients.
The starter of succulent charred king prawns with ‘burnt’ guacamole (much nicer than it sounds!), the flavoursome and rustic lamb Massaman curry served in a deep-fried chapatti, and the Wynyard cheese board which overflowed with local cheeses provided the highlights of the day.
My party and I could have easily stayed longer at Wynyard Hall, tucked in a quiet corner of one of the hall’s decadently decorated state rooms. But, alas, we had to return to Tyneside – fully satisfied with the standard of cuisine, service and relaxed luxury we had experienced.
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Spiced butternut squash soup with toasted seeds and crusty bread £6
Cured duck salad, baby pears, watercress and sweet pear dressing £8
Charred king prawns, burnt guacamole, coriander and curried lime oil £8
Pan-roasted sea bass, cherry tomatoes, green beans, black olives and basil pesto £13
Spiced lamb Massaman curry with coconut milk and roasted peanuts £15
Aged 10oz sirloin steak, crispy fries, smoked blue cheese and roasted avocado £23
Mango cheesecake, passion fruit sauce, wafer biscuit £5
Dark chocolate and praline bavarois, vanilla ice cream £5
Wynyard cheese board, grapes, crackers and chutney £7