When the Dispensary isn’t open for dinner, wend your way to the bar early and bag the table by the fire for a G&T and the polenta chips.
Best of British, with a unique twist to match your idiosyncratic surroundings: tweeds, heritage cashmere and pussy-bow blouses will go down nicely, jazzed-up with unusual jewellry.
Helmed by executive chef Matt Gillard, the Dispensary is open daily for breakfast and dinner and serves modern, British fare – say, cod with caviar cream and wild mushrooms, suckling pig croquette with pine nut purée and lemon posset with thyme and lemon curd. Like the rest of the hotel, the restaurant is bursting with curios, collections and contemporary art – shelves lining the walls are stacked with blown-glass trinkets and multi-coloured, antique chemists’ bottles. Don’t forget to stop by for afternoon tea in the sitting room, where each sandwich ingredient can be linked to a local farm, and the list of brews – all served in silver tea pots – is as long as a Georgian petticoat (try the Gunpowder Green and Organic Jade Sword, if you’re feeling adventurous).
It’s easy to lose an afternoon in Bar 15, a pastel-coloured treasure trove groaning with trinkets: glass tables display vintage jewellry and an accent wall behind the bar is lined in scalloped, leather scales, fashioned to look like exotic fish. The cocktail menu is vast – 52 tipples long printed on a deck of hotel-personalised playing cards, so you can have a game of whist, Austen-style, while you wait. Each drink is a mini performance in itself; served in a test tube, a carved-wood bowl, or a smoking, blown-glass goblet. We’re particularly partial to an Eastern Promises, a herby, lime-infused concoction served in a blue-china faux-urn. If you’re peckish, raid the bar's menu of light snacks and sharing boards.
Breakfast (7.30am–10.30am), afternoon tea (2pm–6.30pm) and dinner (Wed–Sat, 6pm–9pm) are served in the Dispensary. An all-day menu is served in Bar 15, which is open Sunday to Thursday, 6.30pm-9.30pm, and Friday and Saturday, 6.30pm-11pm.
You can have breakfast in your room between 7.30am and 10.30am.