Review: The Knighton Hotel
PUBLISHED: 12:37 14 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:56 20 February 2013
The Knighton Hotel has recently undergone a transformation. Martin Griffiths spent the night and enjoyed a dinner of the highest quality
The Knighton Hotel has recently undergone a transformation. Martin Griffiths spent the night and enjoyed a dinner of the highest quality.
Let me come straight to the point. I drove from the other end of the county to come and eat here and it was worth every mile of the journey. The cooking is exquisite, facilities excellent and the beautiful, verdant countryside offers a range of country pursuits, which the Knighton Hotel will help to arrange.
The accommodation is smart, comfortable and spacious and although there isnt a grand garden, there is a good-sized terrace and space within the hotel for weddings, conferences and concerts. When you visit, see if the wonderful orangery bedroom is available. Its at the top of the hotel and you can see the stars through the glass roof at night. The service is friendly and efficient and the new owner Gianni DAniello, who also owns the Radnorshire Arms in nearby Presteigne, is thoroughly professional.
However, I wanted to try the food cooked by head chef Sean Kyle who also happens to be head chef for the England under 21s football team when they play abroad. Seans style of cooking is modern and British. Presentation is elegant and stylish. Flavours are clean and well-balanced. The food is perfection. I couldnt find a weakness. My only complaint is that Mrs G, who normally doesnt like lamb, ate most of it, told me it was delicious and that he cooks it better than you do.
As Sean generously commented, there is so much wonderful lamb raised in the area I love to make full use of its flavours. I also enjoyed it immensely. This is the way to cook lamb. A delicate shade of pink, properly seared fat and with fresh vegetables and a silky smooth, deep sauce, which embraces and enhances but never overpowers. The pan-fried chicken breast was moist and succulent and our two very fine starters of grilled mackerel with potato salad and orange-braised chicory and crab panna cotta served with roasted pinenuts and croutons were interesting; refined harmony on a plate. The dark chocolate mousse served for our pudding was divine, a chocolate lovers heaven!
Breakfasts make generous use of fine local ingredients although you may need to climb the surrounding hills or take a walk along the nearby Offas Dyke to make room for it all.
These days, The Knighton Hotel is certainly worth a journey.
The Knighton Hotel.
Broad Street, Knighton LD7 1BL