April 4th, 2006


Nuthurst Grange Hotel

On the edge of the pleasant village of Hockley Heath, in the gentle hills outside Birmingham's ring road, the M42, overlooking - at a distance - the busy M40, lies the country house hotel of Nuthurst Grange. The happy confluence of a christening for the littlest stonecircle in the area combined with C.'s Christmas present to me of Britain's Best Places to Stay for Food Lovers, resulted in one night's vacation there this past weekend.

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It was a delight to retire to the comfort of a hotel room so close, and for the driver to be able to drink over dinner. The kitchen is certainly making all the right moves for a high end eatery, from flavored butters and rolls to an intriguing menu. Much of what it's producing is good - some of it superb - but we felt as if there was still plenty of growth room for it. The in-room food, was, however, spot-on. The perfectly ripe fruit and tasty homemade shortbread impressed me plenty.