Monday, 30 December 2013

Elephant and Castle Hotel, Newtown, Powys.

I'm sure many of you have enjoyed the annual work Christmas meals out with colleagues over the festive season. I'm always intrigued to what restaurants will offer this time of the year, and whether they will offer the traditional turkey and Christmas pudding or will they completley take customers by surprise with an unusual twist or take on traditional dishes. When the Elephant and Castle Hotel in Newtown, Powys, was chosen as the venue for my works Christmas too, I was not expecting great food, as my previous experience of eating in hotel restaurants has been disastorous.
The Christmas menu was £25 for a three course meal and evening entertainement which I considered to be good value for money. The location of the hotel is situated on  the main high street in Newtown,  and is directly behind the Elephant and Castle pub and we had to approach the hotel via the pub.
Initally when I walked into the pub, I hoped that I wouldn't be eating my meal in there as it was a typical "pub" and as this was the first time I visited I was unsure where the hotel part would be located. Luckily, our group were quickly escorted into the hotel where groups of different people who were also  having their work Christmas meal were taking their seats.
The room where the meal was served was incredibly light; the walls were white and appropriately festivly decorated. Within 20 minutes of being seated, several fresh bread baskets were placed on each table. The smell of the fresh bread quickly filled the room, and I was impressed with the large chunks of bread and that the bread certainly looked "homemade". For my starter, I chose smoked salmon and prawns which was served with a slice of toasted bread and a wedge of lemon. There was plenty of salmon for the starter and I could tell that it was a premium quality of salmon due to the taste, texture and appearance. The prawns were quite small and was hidden underneath the salmon; I would have prefered king prawns to match the portion of salmon that was given. My colleague ordered the eggs benedict, which I thought looked far more superior and tantaslising compared to my starter, and my colleague reported that her starter was divine and decadent.

Elephant and Castle Hotel
The main event, or should I say the main course was turkey breast with stuffing, chipolotas and roast potatoes. Alternatives offered was roast beef, leg of lamb and a vegetarian option which was a spinach and feta cheese filo pie. My turkey was moist, succulent and tender and the roast potatoes were cooked through and crispy. All mains were served with a selection of seasonal vegetables, unfortunately the sprouts were not cooked properly and were unedible, but the broccoli and carrots were cooked properly and I gladly piled the cooked vegetables on my plate.

Elephant and castle.

The piece de resistance was the chocolate torte, which was (a shocker) too rich for me. The presentation of the torte was sublime and the torte was served with ice cream and a berry sauce.  I absolutely adore chocolate, chocolate cakes and bakes, but I found this to be chocolatey, if there is such as thing, too dense and too rich. I managed to eat half of this but had to hold up the white flag and left the remainder.

Having my Christmas meal here has changed my opinion on hotel restauarnats and would perhaps dine out at more hotel restaurants following my experience.

Positives - Good value for money, food was presented well, food was pleasant, the restaurant was light.
Negatives - The sprouts were not cooked properly.

I reviewed this restaurant because I love good food and am addicted to eating out.


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