The Manor at Sway is a modern country house hotel set in a beautiful Edwardian mansion. Located in the New Forest National Park, it is the ideal location to explore the South of England’s unique landscape and to relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.
Under the inspired guidance of David Bentheim, one of the top designers in the UK, The Manor at Sway has been transformed into a truly modern country house hotel with striking interiors. The owners Tim Holloway and Edlyn Cunill have restored The Manor as much as possible to its country house roots with a cosy drawing room, low lit and full of books to while away the hours.
The Manor has 15 stunning rooms, a wonderful restaurant that serves fresh, local, seasonal food and 4 acres of gardens where guests can unwind and relax. The hotel offers traditional hospitality in a warm and informal environment where guests will feel at home.
The individually designed bedrooms blend traditional period features with the usual modern day comforts and include Hypnos beds, vintage telephones, and well-proportioned bathrooms with REN products. The furniture is a mixture of antique and modern, giving a lived in appeal. There are three categories of room, Cosy, Classic and Manor.
The dining room is accentuated with bold wallpaper and cosy lighting. The space is airy during the day and warm an intimate in the evening. The kitchen at The Manor concentrates on serving elegant classic cuisine with a modern twist using wherever possible local meat and produce. Chef Jamie Hurst has trained and worked at The Dorchester as well as local establishments and draws on different influences across the culinary spectrum, inventing dishes that can be either formal or rustic, but always delicious. Menus are changed in accordance with the season and there is a good choice of tasty hearty dishes, light bites along with the dinner menu.
Tim and Edlyn met each other working in the hotel industry and both have a love of good food and wine which comes through in the hospitality they offer. The Manor offers full Afternoon Tea with homemade jams & scones and a creative assortment of treats and sandwiches, all of which can be enjoyed in the drawing room or on warmer days on the terrace overlooking the expansive garden which covers 4 acres and is a great place to unwind and enjoy the peace and quiet of the area under tall conifers giving the garden privacy and shade on hot days.
The SLOAN! Review
To start we had the venison and duck egg. The venison came as a very generous portion of raw meat beautifully prepared and drizzled in coal oil which brings out the warmth of the dish and gives it the appearance of it being cooked this dish is perfectly fit for a carnivore. The dish is paired with a mustard mayo that combines with the dish adding a richness and heat. Set on a bed of sweet caper berries and garnished with pickled shallot rings this is the perfect game dish however its not for the faint of heart. My dining companion had the poached duck egg with sweet bread, white asparagus,maple syrup and a hazelnut bonbon. The duck egg was poached perfectly, thick and rich on its surface with a runny yolk that was like slicing a hot knife through butter. This was a well thought out dish with the sauce complementing the richness of the duck.
For our main course we choose the loin of lamb and the red mullet. The loin of lamb was presented with a sweetbread fritter, wild garlic and broad beans garnished with a pea puree and mint jelly. The lamb came medium, lightly seasoned with a subtle but balanced kick of garlic. The flavours were traditional and easy on the palette. The kitchen has other dishes that push the culinary artistry of pairing flavours to a different level but this dish was a good safe option. The chef is keen to add more unique aspects to the menu and growing himself and educating the palettes of his regulars and enticing more people from London.
I choose the red mullet, salt baked kohlrabi, samphire and oyster and horse radish cream. The dish had a salty edge that had heat added from the horse radish but was dampened down to a more subtle level by the addition of oyster brine. The red mullet was filleted and fresh. The samphire al-dente was a delightful accompaniment to soak up the creamy flavours in the sauce. The kohlrabi was an acquired taste but cooked to the consistency of a soft vegetable contrasting with the crunch of the samphire, delightfully seasoned this dish was full of flavour. It was particularly lovely to see Andy (our wait staff) so passionate about the dish, the flavours, the combinations of the ingredients and why the chef choose to create his dish the way he did. This knowledge made the dining experience that much more enjoyable.
For dessert Red choose the carrot cake with mead, bee pollen, lavender meringue and a cream cheese ice cream. The lavender meringue complimented the dish perfectly. This was the first time we have seen carrot cake paired in such a manner, we would recommend considering lavender in the same format with your next carrot cake indulgence. I choose the roasted white chocolate parfait, with roasted strawberries, and meadow sweet mascapone. The mascapone had tea and mint which contrasted to the rich white chocolate taste, with the fruity component satisfied by the strawberry. The dish was beautifully contrasted with freeze dried strawberries and a roasted caramelised version of the fruit which provided contrast and soft texture.
This restaurant is definitely one to watch. The chef experiments successfully with molecular gastronomy and this is displayed from the afternoon tea with homemade marshmallows and many delightful additions in the dinner menu.
The Manor at Sway, Station Road, Sway, Nr. Lymington, Hampshire, SO41 6BA
Reservations: 01590 682 754