When the wine menu covers a tour of the world and is bigger than the food menu you know you’ve picked a good spot for dinner. When the cocktail menu is equally as big you know that you’ve definitely made a good choice.
Macdonald Randolph Hotel is the leading 5-star hotel in Oxford, so it’s of no surprise that its restaurant received its third AA Rosette in September for outstanding cuisine and excellent service. What may surprise you though, is that the hotel bar is known as The Morse Bar (made famous by Inspector Morse).
Of course it’s therefore pretty much mandatory to start your evening with The Morse Bar Champagne Cocktail. It’s a combination of brandy, Champagne and a hint of vanilla – a classy drink.
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The menu includes pages and pages of some amazing drinks from all over the globe. From French Martinis to a Dark ‘n’ Stormy, you’ll find your favourite cocktail here. You’ll also find some pretty good advice from some well-known friends.
The food menu is short and sweet, with a big focus on meat. The chefs use only the finest ingredients, sourcing locally when they can. There’s no point in listing dish after dish – they know what works and they’re keen to show you.
And show you, they do. Each dish is presented like a piece of contemporary art. The starter of award winning Scottish smoked salmon is hard carved right beside your table. You’re then welcomed to pick accompaniments, even if that means asking for all of them (mentioning no names, Jay).
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The main course of risotto (sans parmesan cheese for vegetarians) is extremely rich. Covered in a generous blanket of grated truffle and deep fried quails eggs, it’s a very bold dish. There’s no denying those flavours and it’s an either love or hate it kind of experience.
Sadly I was too English to confess that I wasn’t a fan of that much truffle, or perhaps I was being hopeful that I’d like the overall effect. Luckily for you I’ve discovered that the chefs are really accommodating, so if you’re a vegan, gluten free, or perhaps you just don’t fancy that vegetarian dish ask for an alternative. They’re very talented and creative so they’ll be able to make you an amazing dish.
This is the partridge and pork dish – a carnivorous masterpiece.
The desserts are modern twists on the classics. The Apple Crumble & Custard includes candided Cox’s apples, blackberry ripple ice cream, almond crumble, custard bavarois, Bramley apple compote, and hot apple fritters. Yes, that’s all for one dessert.
A little more adventurous, the “Marjolaine” includes hazelnut meringue, praline mousseline, crunchy crème brulee, Frangelico, caramelised white chocolate ice cream, and dark chocolate mousse.
Clearly not enough to share though and too fancy for some, the classic three scoop ice cream bowl is more than satisfying.
The best bit about dining in the beautifully historic restaurant of the Macdonald Randolph Hotel is returning to your bedroom (if you’re lucky enough to stay overnight), as you know that when you wake up you’ll get to enjoy breakfast.
Just like dinner the hot food and drinks are served by a whole team of waiters and waitresses. It’s a constant stream of niceties (and delicious food).
The buffet area provides your fix for every kind of cereal, juice and pastries you could want. There’s even a selection of yoghurt and compote combinations to choose from. Personally, I think the cute jars are the best, but feel free to do your own research. After all, everyone knows that a hotel breakfast should be a three course affair too. X
Have you been to Oxford before or is it somewhere you’d like to visit?
Big thanks to Macdonald Randolph Hotel for hosting my visit.