Whatley Manor, the charming 23-bedroom country manor house and spa set in the idyllic Cotswolds, near Malmesbury, Wiltshire, appointed Niall Keating as Executive Chef in December 2016. This month, he has launched his own modern British menus in The Dining Room, where he has also drawn inspiration from many different cuisines, including Korean, Japanese and classic French. Additionally, Niall has initiated the re-styling of the hotel’s informal restaurant (formerly Le Mazot), launching it as Grey’s Brasserie with new menus, in conjunction with his Sous Chef George Dingle, and a refurbishment is planned for August 2017.
Niall has an impressive pedigree – aged just 26, he has worked in several significant Michelin starred establishments in the UK, USA and Denmark. His culinary career began at The Bath Priory Hotel as a Commis Chef, but he quickly worked his way up to Sous Chef (2010-12). Niall then joined two star Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham as a Chef de Partie for two-and-a-half years (2012-14), before moving to San Francisco for one year (2015) at the renowned three star Benu, where he was a Chef de Partie, progressing to Sous Chef. He then returned to Europe, settling in Copenhagen at one star Kong Hans Kalder, where he was Chef de Cuisine (2016). Then came the decision to move back to England, thanks to a long-standing rapport and sustained contact with Sue Williams, now General Manager at Whatley Manor, who he first met at The Bath Priory.
“I knew from day one in Bath that Niall had a special talent, and we stayed in contact as he developed his skills around the world”, stated Sue Williams. “His energy, creativity, enthusiasm and fresh approach are perfectly suited to Whatley Manor as the hotel enters a new phase.”
Niall’s menus balance contemporary and classic styles in terms of ingredients and presentation, with some intriguing Asian influences as well. The Dining Room is open for dinner from Wednesday through Sunday, offering a tasting menu of 12 small courses for £110 (with the option of a matching wine flight for £78 or the premium wine flight £156). The new menus is as follows:
Spiced cracker, sesame, lime
Oyster, seaweed mignonette
Chicken fat custard, tamari, caviar
Brown butter, buttermilk
Mackerel, preserved raspberry, greens
‘Risotto’, chorizo, raw scallop
Cod, chicken broth, fermented turnip
Aged beef loin, lettuce, pomme purée, red wine
Salted rhubarb, umeshu, shiso
Chocolate, caramel, crème fraîche
Additionally at Whatley Manor, Grey’s Brasserie (50 seats) offers a more relaxed dining option, open daily for lunch and dinner, with the menu focusing on a mix of comfort food and more casual British fare, including a traditional Sunday roast.
Typical dishes range from Smoked mussels on toast, Charred onion Caesar salad, and Omelette Arnold Bennett, to Braised beef cheek with parsnip and bok choy, Roasted bream with baby cabbage and almond, Rhubarb trifle with ginger financier, and English custard tart with nutmeg and blackcurrant sorbet.
When the weather is warm and sunny guests can also choose to dine al fresco in the Kitchen Garden Terrace.
Full address: Easton Grey, Malmesbury, Wiltshire SN16 0RB
Reservations: 01666-822 888, or online at firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: @Whatley_Manor Instagram: @whatleymanor