When we were invited to spend a night at the DoubleTree by Hilton, CADBURY HOUSE HOTEL just over the water in Bristol South, I have to admit I was a little excited. Cadbury House is a place I know well, and have done for many years. I have attended charity functions in their superb setting, compered auctions and other such events over the years, and even met up with friends for a bit of a social time. One thing I have never done is actually stay for a night and dined in the onsite MARCO PIERRE WHITE STEAKHOUSE BAR & GRILL.
The first thing you notice, long before you arrive at Cadbury, is that the surrounding villages are really something special. There are little cottages and some spectacular new-build homes around Congresbury. This really sets you up for what greets you as you follow the long drive, up to the spectacular English countryside entrance to what is undoubtedly one of the South West’s finest four-star boutique hotel and spa.
Like the surrounding properties, Cadbury is a mix of old and new. There’s the traditional country house, which dates back to 1790 and an elegant boutique-style hotel. Add to that Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse Bar & Grill, and an award winning health club and spa, and you know you’ve arrived at a place you simply won’t want to leave.
Parking is a breeze, something I always feel is a positive start to any break. They have space everywhere, whether you simply want to park, or indeed park and charge. There are plenty of EV points around which you can sort out with reception on your arrival.
Take a moment or ten to take in the view, it is one of the best you’ll find at any property. It was drizzling when we arrived but honestly we didn’t care. As far as you could see, right across the six acres of landscaped gardens, there is stunning English countryside. The views across North Somerset are equally impressive, and even through the mist I could clearly see the Bristol Channel. I think I embarrassingly waved to South Wales at one point, so feel free to do that prior to your check in.
Getting through reception was pleasant, friendly and swift. I am a Hilton Honors Diamond Member, and as useful as that is, every guest is afforded the same cheerful welcome from the very attentive staff. I would however recommend signing up to Hilton Honors (it’s free) – details at the bottom of this review.
You will receive a welcome cookie. No matter how much you love your partner or kids, how often they plead to ‘gimme‘ or ‘share‘ don’t. I know, I’m the worst person going, but bite into this warm, chocolatey, gooey delight and you’ll be right on my side. OMG it is the best cookie ever and one to be savoured not shared. You’ll receive one each anyway.
The lift to the fourth floor, although the room was actually 309, was speedy and before long I opened the door into a beautifully appointed room, which had pretty much every home comfort, and those extras which make a hotel stay special.
A you can see from the pictures and video, the bed was huge, not the official name, but huge is what we all know. The seating area for the TV was really comfortable and perfect for enjoying a drink and a little chill before dinner. The bathroom is definitely made for those who know each other well. It’s open plan and very well laid out. I really like the fact you can shower and see and chat to your partner through the revealing glass. The room also had a bath, which for me is an absolute must.
All the extras are there too, Nespresso coffee machine, small fridge, fluffy dressing gowns (one of the perks of being a Diamond member) and enough toiletries to combat the hardiest bather.
What money can’t buy, well, actually it can I suppose, was the view. Forget the TV and shower, looking out of the window, across the extensive grounds, and once again as far as the Bristol Channel, was the perfect start to a short break. Incidentally, they have a cow in the grounds, and no, its not real, as I heard a Father tell his young daughter on countless occasions.
If your sole purpose for visiting Cadbury House is to relax and unwind, we could easily have stopped our visit right there and been happy. But we had dinner to enjoy, a superb spa and a breakfast the following morning which sets you up for the day ahead.
I’ve written about MARCO PIERRE WHITE’S STEAKHOUSE BAR & GRILL hundreds of times. I’ve even told you about the incredible offers they have available throughout the year in Cardiff (HERE). What I haven’t done however, and I’m ashamed to say this, is eat there.
If you didn’t realise it was Marco’s place before you sat down you most certainly will by the time you reach your table. There are pictures of the great man everywhere, most of them from his day as the ‘Rock’n’Roll‘ maverick chef, which he still is to be fair. The restaurant is in keeping with the setting and yet retains all the elements you’d expect in a M.P. White establishment.
I ought to tell you that none of the staff knew why we were there, the treatment we received was exactly the standard any guest would enjoy. It was fun, friendly, courteous and highly professional. The team were knowledgeable and interactive and helped make choosing the right dish so much easier. Although to be fair, pretty much every dish looked like the right one to me.
You know you are somewhere special dining in a MPW establishment but the well designed interior and entire fine-dining experience doesn’t compromise the relaxed environment which is suitable for all. Whether it’s a romantic night for two, a business based meal, or indeed a place to bring the family to enjoy a wide range of superbly presented and cooked food, Marco and his team have got the balance spot-on.
I’ve attached all the menus to a downloadable file below, these include; Main, Afternoon Tea, Bar, Spring Specials, Sunday Roast, Kids and Drinks Menus. They are from Cadbury House, but they also apply to all of Marco’s establishments. If you’d like to check your nearest, go HERE.
Click on the link below to download the current menus to your device.
With those to hand, I can easily talk you through the dishes we selected.
Starter was a no-brainer. I’ve heard amazing things about MR WHITE’S SCOTCH EGG and it delivered on all fronts. Presentation was lovely, taste, out of the world and the texture is like no other scotch egg I’ve had before, and believe me I’ve scoffed more than a few. Some terrible, and some not so. This however goes beyond any scotch egg you may have had. This is my type of starter and from what I could see around the restaurant, is a favourite of many others.
A scotch egg may seem like a simple dish, but prepared and cooked to perfection, and then served with a mild Colonel Mustard sauce, elevates the dish from Motorway services to Top Table service. It is a dish I would happily return to enjoy again, and dare I say, again
Two main course dishes came to the table and both were equally delicious.
It was a really tough choice, as you can see from the menu. In the end it was ROAST LAMB À LA DIJONNAISE served with buttered green beans, fondant potatoes and rosemary roasting juices. We also had ROAST CHICKEN À LA FORESTIÈRE served with woodland mushrooms, fondant potatoes, Madeira roasting juices and buttered leaf spinach.
I feel I don’t need to comment on the presentation, take it as read that everything you would expect to see on your plate, you do, and so much more. They say you eat with your eyes first and never has a well-worn phrase been better spoken. The look is stunning, as all the diners taking pictures for their social pages would attest to.
The lamb was perfectly cooked, slightly pink and incredibly tender. It sliced and ate beautifully and for someone who wouldn’t usually opt for the lamb dish it is most certainly one of my new favourites.
The chicken was my main order, and as I’ve been cutting back on my food recently to lose a few pounds, I wanted a dish that was as close to a Sunday roast as possible, this is, but goes way beyond any carvery.
The meat was succulent and moist and it took all of my willpower to stop myself from picking up the bone and stripping it clean. The mushrooms however, were next level. I can’t believe I’m raving about the humble fungi but what Marco has created here really highlights the subtle difference in taste and texture of each of these woodland delights. If you’re not a huge fan of mushrooms, I’d give these a try before ruling them out of your dining repertoire completely.
Marco is undoubtedly one of our greatest ever chefs. He’s also a great believer that cooking is not about showing off. It’s about feeding, sharing, generosity – the very spirit of Easter perhaps. With that in mind. he’s very kindly shared his superb lamb recipe for us to enjoy this Easter.
Dessert for me was the cheese platter, although I only really enjoy cheddar, which the staff happily supplied. I also got to taste MR COULSON’S STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce. It is rich and not overly sweet, which I enjoyed, and with shouts of ‘damn you diet‘ I would happily choose this on my next visit.
Which brings me to a nice touch on the menu. Each dish not only gives a full description of the food itself, but also the calorific value. I know this is fairly standard practice nowadays, but it is really easy to read on the menu and add up what you can have, within your allowance. Or, which is a far better option, have a day off dieting and enjoy it all.
We love, and think it’s a prerequisite nowadays, that restaurants source as many items from the local area, and it was a delight to see Marco promoting that fact. As he says, he’s not reinventing the wheel here, instead he has focused on delivering traditional British meals cooked to absolute perfection and served in a lively atmosphere.
Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill Opening Times
- Monday-Saturday Lunch: 12:30 to 3pm
- Monday-Saturday Dinner: 5:30 to 10pm
- Sunday: 12:30 to 9pm
- Afternoon Tea Daily: 2:30 to 4:30pm
The Bar is a really nice place to start the evening or indeed unwind after dinner. The team serve expertly mixed cocktails, which you can also enjoy on the terrace when the weather allows. If you want more food you can order an array of speciality sandwiches, salads, burgers and steaks.
It’s a very relaxed setting and the perfect place to sit with family and friends. I also know how much people like to grab those ‘selfie’ moments, this is one of those spots to snap a ‘You and Marco‘ pic.
Staying with the restaurant, it’s here you’ll come for breakfast in the morning. Same setting and decor, but feeling altogether different with daylight shining through.
The food is a beautifully prepared and presented self-service buffet, with tea or coffee brought to the table by the same friendly staff we met the previous evening.
There is every conceivable option available from the traditional cooked ‘Full English‘, with a variety of vegetarian options. There’s a fine continental selection, with pastries and bread to toast. And, if you’re feeling like a really healthy start to the day, plenty of yogurt, and a fruit platter, which was very tempting and almost stole me away from the cooked option – almost.
The Cadbury House Club & Spa has everything you need to either unwind and do nothing, or burn off a calorie or two so you can have seconds on the scotch egg. The swimming pool, steam room, solarium, fitness room and more besides, are at a level you would expect from a four star establishment. I do know however, and have friends who have been members here previously, that the staff really take extra pride in the spa and how it make guests feel at the end of their visit.
They also have a full range of Spa Packages either for yourself, couples or a group of you and your friends. I was thinking as I read the details how nice it would be to share a special occasion here, with the spa as the focus of the visit. Or, with summer fast approaching, we’re sure a hen party visit would enjoy the treatments which range from a ‘Float Away‘, ‘Total Bliss‘ ‘Full Body Massage‘ and even hands and feet packages.
All the details can be found HERE.
I said at the start of this review that you feel Cadbury House will be a place you won’t want to leave and as I reluctantly threw the case into the car and drove along the impressive driveway, I really felt that was the case.
We reckon, on a good day, you’ll arrive at the hotel around half an hour after crossing the Second Severn Bridge. The drive is lovely, and once you approach the hotel you will be doing a lot of ooohing and ahhing at the lovely houses around there.
They have a variety of rooms available from a Deluxe Twin through to a Panoramic Suite. There are plenty of family rooms, with connecting rooms too. As for accessibility, Cadbury have that very well covered with a selection of guest accessible rooms. On that note…..
The DoubleTree by Hilton Cadbury House offers…….
- Accessible public areas
- Accessible elevators with audible alerts
- Audible Alarms
- Braille restaurant menus and elevators
- Service animals welcome
- Grab bars in bathrooms
- Visual alarms in rooms and public areas
It would be difficult to give you prices as these change daily depending when you go and what is happening at that time. You can get details HERE.
I would strongly suggest that you sign up for the Hilton Honor reward programme. I have been with them for years and have made my way to Diamond level. The further you climb, the more rewards and perks you receive, and believe me, they are really good. Best of all, the scheme is FREE to join – HERE.
Hilton are not paying us to say this, or encouraging us in any way. My experience has always been a positive one and, like all of us right now, I always have an eye on a good deal.
The DOUBLETREE BY HILTON CADBURY HOUSE HOTEL is a superb place to visit, far enough away to feel you’ve ‘gone away‘ for a break, but close enough to not have to worry about a long drive from South Wales.