New menu launch at Marco Pierre-White's Yew Lodge restaurant.
The day I drove up to Kegworth to enjoy the new Taste of Autumn menu at Marco's couldn’t have been more suited from a seasonal perspective. It poured with rain and autumnal leaves flew all around.
It also couldn’t have been more well-timed; after a week of half-term fun with my children – I hadn’t realised quite how much I needed the break.
An evening meal and a night away with my partner at the Yew Lodge Best Western – which is also the location of Marco’s – was exactly what I didn’t know I needed.
Checking in was seamless and we were making our way to our warm and cosy room within minutes.
With the room being at the top of the building, tucked away in a quiet corner, it was the perfect hideaway we were looking for.
Beautifully decorated with a homely feel, the tea and coffee facilities - and even a pillow menu - all promised a relaxing stay.
Donning our complimentary use robes and slippers, we made our way to the on-site spa and were welcomed by friendly staff who showed us the facilities.
The pool was lovely, as was the sauna and spa, luxuriously appointed and warmly lit. Ahead of our dinner, we both commented on how relaxed we felt after just an hour spent there.
We didn’t hit the gym, but from what I could see there was an excellent range of equipment for those that way inclined.
Getting ready for dinner, I was able to utilise the in-room music speaker and took my time, knowing I didn’t have to go too far to the bar and restaurant – even donning heels I wouldn’t have attempted if I had to go far on foot!
The restaurant itself is decorated in an Italian-American feel, with warm colours and inviting booth tables; the atmosphere was especially bustling for a Thursday evening.
Our host greeted us straight away and was attentive, friendly and relaxed. After presenting us with the wine list, she brought a couple of different ones for us to try, asking what we typically liked. We settled on an organic red and then perused the delicious menu.
The seasonal menu includes dishes inspired by autumnal flavours, mixing British classics with the French cooking techniques that made Pierre-White a household name.
This theme is extended throughout both the seasonal special and autumn set menus, effortlessly combining Italian-based comfort food with American classics.
Choosing was actually really tricky. Not only am I not a fussy eater, but I would consider myself a foodie so these menus were heaven. They made for tantalising reading and we were swiftly brought warm rosemary focaccia breads, oils and olives to start whilst we chose.
My partner decided on bruschetta which included plenty of garlic and confit tomatoes on toasted ciabatta, whilst I opted for the whitebait served with a lemon mayonnaise - the nicest whitebait I have ever had.
We both had fillet steak, a cut recommended by our host, and peppercorn sauce with a side of rocket and parmesan salad for a healthy ‘green’ measure.
When it came to dessert, it was a cheese board for him – which included Alex James's (of Blur fame) cheese served with fig chutney – and hot chocolate sauce brownie for me.
There are plenty of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options too. Both the seasonal and set menus cater for a wide range of tastes, without being predictable.
Everything was beautifully cooked and tasted so fresh and lively. It’s seriously comforting food, cooked with passion and a commitment to exciting flavours.
The hotel itself is a hidden gem, conveniently located near East Midlands Airport in the pretty village of Kegworth. There’s on-site parking, access to spa and gym facilities, and guests are – of course – free to enjoy the bar and restaurant.
Stylishly decorated with welcoming staff, comfortable rooms, and a commitment to modern hospitality, there’s nothing the team won’t do to make their guests welcome.
Well versed in conferencing, weddings and events, the Christmas and new year party packages look amazing, and I should mention them here for those looking for festive fun, that’s well curated and high quality yet budget friendly.
Plus, the escape room looks to be lots of fun - even for a scaredy cat like me.
All in all we had a delightful time and will definitely return for another retreat and the welcoming atmosphere and excellent food.