The grand Stein way

FB main RickStein Marlborough copyright James Ram

Image copyright James Ram.

Astounding and affordable

Marlborough has never been short of places to eat and drink but there has perhaps been a gap in the market for something which was a cut above. Rick Stein Marlborough is it. This latest addition to the acclaimed chef's collection of fine restaurants is a haven of epicurean civilisation.

With 90 seats arranged across five separate dining rooms, the restaurant has an embracing intimacy often lacking in modern restaurants. In vogue is the canteen-style eatery which can frequently feel like dining in an airplane hangar, struggling to hear

...classic French dishes are produced simply and expertly using the finest and freshest ingredients

your dining companions above the clatter and echo such spaces create. Here, all is peace and tranquility with muted decoration and tasteful furnishings, crisp linen and sparkling glassware. Best of all, this quality is pleasingly affordable. The menu is very reasonably priced and even delicious wines can be had from as little as £16 per bottle.

There is nothing ostentatious about the menu; classic French dishes are produced simply and expertly using the finest and freshest ingredients. A simple fish soup is elevated to something exquisite by embracing this method. The Stein restaurant

RickStein Marlborough interior 1 Copyright James RamRickStein Marlborough interior 1 Copyright James Ram

RickStein Marlborough interior 3 Copyright James RamRickStein Marlborough interior 4 Copyright James Ram

copyright James Ram

group is rightly lauded for its excellence with fish but here in Marlborough they are also making use of local gems, sourcing their meat from Walter Rose in Devizes and introducing Wiltshire truffles.

But perhaps the standout feature of this very lovely restaurant is the service. Attentive but not overbearing, the staff are pleasant and professional, friendly without being over familiar. In conversation with Stephane, the charming French restaurant manager, it emerged that all staff undergo at least a month's rigorous training, tasting broadly from over 40 have been with the Steins for more than 10 years and at least 7 for over 20. By treating its people well, the business has maintained excellence across the brand, showing others how it should be done.

Whether you are after a casual midweek lunch or special occasion blow out, Rick Stein Marlborough fits the bill. Best of all, over Christmas and the New Year this is one place you are guaranteed a respite from the tinsel and blaring festive tunes. Just quiet sophistication, comfort and great food.

Rick Stein, Lloran House, 42a High Street, Marlborough SN8 1HQ. Tel 01672 233 333

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