Review: Brocco On The Park
Boutique hotel and ‘neighbourhood’ kitchen Brocco on the Park is an idyllic home away from home. Designed flawlessly to a modern British style, this Edwardian villa is perched on the corner of Endcliffe Park and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as eight individual rooms. We sent Rachel Heward down to check it out.
Arriving half an hour before our dinner reservations, we were shown to our room at the top of the villa. The aptly named Swallow’s Rafter (each of the rooms are named after a kind of bird; The Dovecote, Robin’s Hollow, Pigeons Post etc.) is beautifully designed and boasts a super king-size bed, and through an oval archway a stunning free standing egg-shaped bathtub beckons. It is pure luxury. And it’s not just about the wow-factor; the room is impeccably clean and the attention to detail adds thoughtful little flourishes here and there. For instance the key has a little bird keyring attached, which you perch in a tiny birdhouse to keep it safe. Adorable, no? From the organic bath products to the cosy robes, Nespresso coffee machine, and complimentary homemade cake, every effort has been made to make you feel relaxed and welcome.
We head downstairs and are shown to a candle-lit table in a full restaurant – the residents of Hunters Bar have not let this gem go unnoticed. The menu is modern British with a Scandinavian twist and each dish is created with seasonality in mind. We order a couple of glasses of wine from the extensive list and decide on the artisan bread basket to keep us going, which comes with marinated olives, balsamic vinegar and mixed nuts and seeds. Perfect for staving off hunger until our meals arrive.
In a nice touch and a nod to the city’s defining industry, between courses we are presented with a box of handcrafted Sheffield steel knives to choose from. Using my personally selected, brand new shiny knife, I dive straight into my lamb rump, which is served with minted whipped goats’ cheese, broad beans, braised fennel, fondant potato and mustard vinaigrette. The lamb is tantalisingly tender and the combination of the bitter fennel and creamy minted whipped cheese is faultless. My partner goes for the steak with mushroom purée, tempura onion rings, triple-cooked chips and lemon and thyme butter. Cooked to perfection and rich in flavour, I’m assured it was a good option as the plate is cleaned in record time.
For dessert we opt for poached peaches, brandy snap basket, basil ice cream and wildflower honey, which is phenomenal in flavour – it has all the makings of a decadent cocktail, in pudding form. In my eyes, this is as good as it gets. We also go for the burnt custard with homemade shortbread, which is fabulously crumbly and the ideal instrument for mopping up leftover custard.
The night draws in and the gargantuan bed calls. With blankets and soft furnishings galore it takes mere minutes to sink into slumber and before I know it my alarm is going off and my thoughts turn to breakfast. Now this is Brocco’s forte. With everything from a deluxe full English, to eggs benedict, healthy smoothies and ‘powerful’ porridge options, you’re spoilt for choice here. You can even go for a cheeky morning tipple with a bloody Mary or breakfast bellini if you want to start your day with a real kick. As it’s a school day I opt for a fresh orange juice and pancakes with wildflower honey and seasonal fruits. Feeling refreshed, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, we begrudgingly check out and meander down Eccy Road back to reality.
Whether you’re from round these parts or not, Brocco On The Park is a must for anyone looking for some fresh fine dining and a haven amidst a bustling city. Pop in for breakfast, take lunch on the sun soaked terrace or check yourself in for a night away from it all. Go on, treat yourself.
Head to www.brocco.co.uk to look at the menu, room prices and for more information.