WHERE THOSE WHO KNOW, GO
CRAIG NEWMAN, GENERAL MANAGER
This is a man who’s made hospitality his craft. So the real question is, which spaces and places does Craig rate for their hospitality?
1. The Ledbury
What: The Two Michelin-Star
Why: ‘I went for a day of eating with James. Bubbledogs for Lunch, The Ledbury for Dinner. Kitchen Table at Bubbledogs won the Michelin Welcome and Service Award 2018, so I think another visit is due. The Ledbury had a Restaurant and General Manager who knew how to work their guests, making the entire experience fun. The rest of the team worked like clockwork around them. It was the smoothest service.’
Go for: the service and food [best Michelin meal Craig’s ever had].
Try: the truffle cheese on toast. ‘A broth with cheese and truffle toast. I can still taste it. That bit of bread is the best thing I’ve eaten in my life.’
What: The One Michelin-Star
Why: ‘this is the place we took the team in the build up to our Michelin-star. The experience was about understanding that Michelin had come away from white tablecloths and silver service. It’s styled like a canteen, stripped back, has wine on tap and great coffee.’
Go for: perfected simplicity.
Try: corn on the cob with lemon, honey and thyme.
What: The Private Member’s Club
Why: ‘in my early years at the Manor I did a stage at Searcys, I shadowed the Event Manager. Years later I returned with James, Fjona and the rest of the leadership team. We went for one of our quarterly away days with a working lunch, but as they served bowl after bowl of Thai style noodles with seared salmon and the like, it soon became a feast of sharing foods, all topped off with Champagne and a view. So, the Gherkin was my first experience of one) delivering and two) experiencing hospitality in London.’
Go for: a boardroom escape with a view.
What: The Great Escape
Why: ‘the location of another stage, this five star country house hotel opened up my eyes to the world of hospitality. The attention to detail put a real fire in my belly and made me see hospitality as a career as opposed to just a job.’
Go for: the spa, good food (courtesy of Angela Harnett and Luke Holder) and an escape from reality in the form of a hot-tub, olive trees and pergolas.
Once you’ve got the bug: visit The Pig in the forest for its walled garden, to taste its piggy bites and attend their Smoked and Uncut festival. ‘The Pig and Lime Wood are living proof that everything Robin Hutson touches turns to gold.’
What: The Farm
Why: ‘Daylesford is your local farm shop on steroids. The produce, the walk in cheese cool room, the craft shop and garden all ooze quality. It’s the place you’d go to for ingredients if you were throwing a dinner party and needed to impress.’
Try: anything in the shop, everything reflected quality.
Once you’ve got the bug: take a trip to The Wild Rabbit. ‘Well worth a visit to complete the experience. It’s part of the Daylesford estate so you’re getting those locally sourced, organic ingredients going straight into the kitchens. Nathan Eades, previously Head Chef over at our neighbouring Simpsons, now heads up the kitchen so another visit is on the cards.’