Macdonald Compleat Angler and 'Sindhu', Marlow
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Let’s start with the hotelIt occupies an enviable riverside location on the opposite
bank of the river to the village and its historic church. The two sides of the
river are linked by Marlow Bridge, itself an historic structure. A Grade I
listed building, it is the only suspension bridge across the non-tidal part of
the Thames and was constructed between 1829 and 1832 by William Clark. The Széchenyi
Chain Bridge, spanning the River Danube in Budapest, was also designed by
William Clark and it is a larger scale version of Marlow Bridge.
The hotel is a perfect venue for weddings and special
events, week-end getaways, indeed getaways at any time, lunches and dinners.
For those staying for a longer break there is much on offer.
For shooting enthusiasts there is a nearby 100 stand clay facility offering six
shooting disciplines. There are reduced green fees at Harleyford Golf Club and
guests can enjoy a day’s use of the gym
at the National Sports Centre at Bisham Abbey for a small fee. The hotel also has
three boats for hire, accommodating 6, 12 and 50 people. On-board catering can
also be arranged.
Our check-in was easy and we were shown the Riverside restaurant
where we were to dine that evening, and Sindhu where lunch was arranged for the
following, day before setting off to our room.
It was a delightful room with a four-poster bed and balcony
overlooking the lawns leading to the river. There were the usual amenities and
a large smart TV. The bathroom had a bath, separate shower enclosure, his and
hers wash basins and a range of Molton Brown toiletries.
Having settled in we set off to explore Marlow village which
won many awards for the best kept village in Buckinghamshire between 1987 and
2009. It is a happy marriage of old village styles and modern amenities with
one-off shops living happily side by side branches of modern chains.
Having worked up an appetite we changed and set off for the
Riverside Restaurant where we enjoyed the Tasting Menu offering seven courses
to tempt the taste buds. A vegetarian version is also available. The food was
delicious and the service first class, all enhanced by the riverside view.
Courses included ham hock and foie gras terrine, Just cooked salmon poached in
brown butter with slow roasted garlic mash, and breast of pheasant, Strathdon
blue cheese, winter truffle and bubble ‘n’ squeak.
After all that great food we slept soundly in our
comfortable four poster bed and all too soon it was time for breakfast. There was
a cold buffet but all hot items were cooked to order. My Eggs Benedict was
Brisk exercise was called for and we had a long walk along
the river before returning for lunch at Sindhu.
SindhuAtul Kochhar, the first Indian chef to be awarded a Michelin star, opened
Sindhu at the Compleat Angler in October 2014 and it has grown rapidly in
popularity since then.
On Saturday lunchtime when we were there the place was
quietly buzzing with clients ranging from very satisfied to amazed at what
great Indian cuisine was like. As with the Riverside Restaurant, service was
impeccable but there was a more relaxed and informal atmosphere.
Sindhu also offers tasting menus but we decided to go for
the lunchtime option. Starters included Tandoor Grilled Vegetables, rocket
leaves and basil dressing, and Tandoor Grilled Minced Lamb with basil and
peppers. I chose Pan Fried Mackerel, parsnip puree and spiced tomato chutney.
It was deliciously different.
Mains included Home Churned Cottage Cheese Kofta with a
saffron infused Korma sauce, and Oven Roasted Chicken Supreme, creamy tomato
sauce and dried fenugreek leaves. Tempting though they were I went for the
Smoked Salmon with Mustard and Honey with a green mango sauce. The salmon was
cooked to perfection and the sauce a little spicy without detracting from the
flavour of the fish.
All mains were served with Aloo Jeera – baby potatoes tossed
with ginger, chilli and cumin, Dal Tiranga – a trio of lentils with cumin,
coriander and tomato, plus saffron rice and butter naan.
We initially declined pudding but eventually, in the
interests of research, were persuaded to share an amazing chocolate brownie
with stem ginger and vanilla ice cream.
Forget your perceptions of Indian food, Sindhu really does
put it on a totally different level; a meal there is a great experience.
Sindhu is open for dinner on Tuesday, lunch and dinner Wednesday to Saturday and lunch on Sunday. The food is truly splendid and reasonably priced.
Macdonald Compleat Angler
Sindhu by Atul Kochhar
Michelin starred Indian Food
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