Stepping through the doors of the new Cromwell’s fine dining restaurant at Phyllis Court Club at the launch event on Saturday you might have been mistaken that you’ve just entered an up market, hip boutique, London restaurant.
Designers, In Any Event have completely transformed the old understated, traditionally furnished dining room with an impactful contemporary new look with statement furnishings in gold and teal. The long, lit up dark wood and gold bar greets as you enter the 40-covers restaurant where you can enjoy a pre-dinner drink. As well as tables for two or four, there are two large round table booths which can seat up to 8 people. The walls and columns have been dressed with grey fabric and stunning works of art by Warren Kerley.
The courtyard outside has also been part of the makeover too with new outdoor seating surrounding a stylish central fire pit.
Cromwell’s is named after Oliver Cromwell whose name is on a plaque on the river bank at the Club which says, ‘This wall was built by Cromwell from the bricks of the old Tudor House of Phyllis Court A.D. 1643.”
The idea for the new restaurant, that will open initially for just 60 days, is the brainchild of Head of Sales Marketing, Caroline O’Connor and Executive Chef, Carl Jackman. All of the furnishings have been installed with temporary fixings including the beautiful dark wooden flooring which has been fitted over the original carpet.
Chris Hogen, Chief Executive of Phyllis Court said, “From my short term experience at the club, this is not the end of this great project but is the beginning of the project for Phyllis Court. This to me is just a marker for how this club might develop in the future and I think you all as members need to look it at as maybe something, not exactly this perhaps but the trend of it, as I think this is the way that this Club must go. I would like to think that over the 60 days that we have got it booked for, it will become very popular and extremely notorious amongst members. It’s going to start people talking – that’s the important thing. In my experience in Club land we do tend sometimes to get stuck in an era. We just need to move slightly forward. This is a most wonderful opportunity for us to look at the club, look at what the members want and to discuss and decide which way we are going. Whatever happens, I think this is a great time, running up to Christmas, for everyone to experience this place and really get a feel of what Phyllis Court can offer.”
Carl Jackman, said, “Since I joined Phyllis Court in 2017 it has been my ambition to bring exquisite ‘experience based’ fine dining to the Club. Since the restaurant’s conception it has been a priority of mine to use local produce and support the community. I have always known that our local area is rich in wonderful flavours and ingredients, and I have thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to meet and work with so many wonderful suppliers.”
The new restaurant offers an A La Carte menu and a seven-course tasting menu (including a vegetarian menu) and wine match which we were invited to sample at the opening.
Starting with an artichoke, ricotta & parmesan ravioli with lamb consommé and truffle – this certainly started the taste buds watering. This was followed by a light and flaky turbot with creamed celeriac, seawater foam, pickled grapes and topped perfectly with an anchovy crumb. The middle course was a vegetarian dish of roasted aubergine accompanied with an unusual tamarind yogurt, spicy basil jelly, candied pecans and black sesame sauce. The next two courses of meat were duck breast with blackberries, forest mushrooms and an orange jus and then a duo of beef (Wagyu sirloin & Aberdeen Angus braised short rib). The meat in both courses was perfectly cooked and tender. We particularly liked the duck breast with the balance of sweet and tart from the blackberries and orange flavours. Pudding is always our Editor’s favourite course and this menu has two! A light lemon, raspberry and pear topped sponge to clean the palette followed by a tummy warming confit of apple sponge pudding with stem ginger and paired with Speculoos ice cream.
The tasting menu is priced at £68 with paired wines at £45 for each course.
Cromwell’s is open to Phyllis Court Club members and their guests. If you are interested in becoming a member please contact Membership Manager, Jez Schofield, on 01491 570510 or email@example.com