Food Review: Brocco On The Park

The Place
Since opening back in late 2014, accolades have seldom been in short supply for Brocco On The Park. The boutique hotel and kitchen has garnered plenty of deserved praise for both its high standard of accommodation and seasonal, Nordic-inspired menu. While sitting in the quaint, comfortable waiting room a brief glance to the side will show a number of these awards proudly displayed for all to see; the most recent include an Editor’s Choice Award from the Good Hotel Guide and the second year running of being listed in the annual Michelin Guide. It’s pretty impressive.

The atmosphere is superb; they’ve managed to perfectly strike that tricky balance between cool and comfortable. The stylish, Scandi-inspired décor and soft lighting immediately places you at ease, and this coupled with the warm welcome received from Nick, who was looking after us for the evening, meant it was time to exhale, relax and browse the wine list – eventually settling upon a versatile, classic southern French red.

The Food
To start we shared the beetroot hummus with seeded crispbread and olives – a tasty, social appetiser before moving on to the main event. The big plates menu is nicely poised, with offerings of the healthier variety interspersed amongst a selection of more indulgent, richer dishes. Appetites sharpened slightly by the red, we both decided to go down the feel-good route. I ordered the pan fried duck breast with spiced lentils and duck croquette, while my dining partner opted for the 4oz fillet steak with triple-cooked chips, plus an additional side of honey roasted carrots and parsnips for good measure.

Both dishes arrived in good time and beautifully presented. The duck was succulent, cooked to perfection and complemented well by a kick from the spicy lentils and the creamy, lighter taste of the celeriac purée. The duck croquettes accompanying were another rich, meaty delight. The steak was everything you’d want from a nice fillet cut: juicy, bursting with flavour and immensely filling despite its seemingly small stature.

For dessert, and still very much in savoury mode, we ordered a cheeseboard to share. A pleasing selection of cheddars, bries and blues served with caraway oatcakes and warmly spiced chutney rounded things off well and ensured that we left full, nay, absolutely stuffed.

The Verdict
The success of Brocco is easy to explain. They have designed and nurtured a serene, enjoyable atmosphere for all to enjoy; they provide faultless customer service with that all-important personal touch; and last but not least, they offer an inventive, forward-thinking menu suited to variety of tastes. I for one can’t see the praise slowing down anytime soon.

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