The Walled Garden Restaurant Review

The new Walled Garden Restaurant at Lucknam Park brings another new dimension to this much-loved local destination:
fine tasting food with a small plates emphasis. Emma Clegg visits as it launches to the public.

Lucknam Park – with its five-star hotel, spa, Michelin-starred Restaurant Hywel Jones, 500 acres of parkland and gardens, equestrian facilities and residential cottages – is an established luxury destination in our region. But no venue of such quality and range should rest on its laurels, and there’s no danger of that at the Lucknam estate.

The newest offering, you see, is a brand-new restaurant that’s going to elevate Lucknam Park’s culinary offerings to new heights. What was the five-star hotel’s Brasserie has been developed into the Walled Garden Restaurant: a foodie dining destination that will illuminate the very best local produce, with its own kitchen garden providing vegetables alongside supplies from some of the best farmers in the country. It’s not just the ingredients that will be sourced from the local area, though. The driving force behind the Brasserie’s transformation into the Walled Garden Restaurant has been head chef Alex Greene, who was born and bred in nearby village Stanton Saint Quintin.

After a relatively short stint working in kitchens, including the Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa in Bath, Greene joined the team at Lucknam Park’s Restaurant Hywel Jones and worked there for around four years before moving across to the Brasserie. Greene’s vision for the Walled Garden Restaurant is that it complements Restaurant Hywel Jones perfectly, offering a more relaxed dining environment for people to enjoy, using many of the same quality suppliers as its Michelin-starred sibling, but with an accessible menu of small plates – in line with the changing eating habits of diners. The new restaurant seats 88 guests and has space for 40 more to stand with drinks.

When I visited for the new restaurant launch, what had been the Brasserie was quite unrecognisable, now transformed into a green, lightfilled dining space with calming, natural views of the courtyard and gardens beyond. The space itself is defined by wooden floors, stone walls, and accents of green including plenty of foliage. The main bar is circular, providing a more organic transition within the restaurant.

The small plate emphasis was clearly evident, with starters offering a meze sharing selection of Padrón peppers; wood roast scallops with parsley and lemon; toasted soldiers with Cornish crab; radishes with smoked butter bean hummus; and hot smoked salmon with cucumber and sourdough – served with Côtes de Provence Rosé. There was an informality to these small plates, a meze style with fine and memorable flavours; and fine food in a polished but relaxed setting is a winning combination.

Our main course brought wood roast free-range chicken with Wye Valley asparagus, garden peas, morel mushrooms and wild garlic from the gardens, served with a Tuscan Chianti Riserva. The dessert course offered a choice of coffee and walnut chou with chocolate and caramel or strawberry and pistachio knickerbocker glory, served with a Sauternes from Chateau Monteils in Bordeaux. Each stage of the meal offered an impressive display of culinary finesse within a relaxed setting.

The current menu also boasts chicken liver parfait with chutney and brioche, wood roast carrot terrine with saffron and pickled raisin (starters), Lucknam Park burgers, wood roast cauliflower, quinoa and pomegranate, along with pizza, salads and pasta choices.

Aside from Alex, the new restaurant is powered by people well versed in providing the same quality of drinks, food and service expected of Hywel Jones. The talented bar manager Jordan Wiltshire and multiple chefs already working at Lucknam Park are keen to support Greene’s vision and ethos of showcasing a fantastic menu brimming with the best ingredients in the local area, as well as from the wider west country region. Alex has also worked with many of his chef brigade before, as well as Ellie Dimes, who is the Walled Garden senior restaurant manager heading the front-of-house team and is a trusted familiar face at Lucknam Park, having previously worked with Hywel Jones. Head to The Walled Garden restaurant for small plates, uplifting local flavours and a green outlook.

The Walled Garden Restaurant is open every day from 12pm–9pm.
The Walled Garden Restaurant, Lucknam Park, Colerne,
Chippenham, Wiltshire SN14 8AZ