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Review: Seventeen at One Warwick Park

Muddy tries OWP's SEVENTEEN restaurant and discovered you can tumble down the rabbit hole this January with Alice in Wonderland inspired interiors and Afternoon teas. Curious? (And curiouser?)

THE LOCATION

When it comes to location, location, location One Warwick Park (or OWP as it is known to locals and lazy typists, like me) has it all. Within easy tottering distance from the train station this hotel stands in the cute and characterful part of town. From here you are literally minutes away from, the Georgian colonnade of shops known as The Pantiles and the Tunbridge Wells Train Station.

The hotel is composed of thirty nine rooms and suites and a range of entertainment spaces, for weddings and conferences. But this time I was visiting to review the hotel’s restaurant, SEVENTEEN, which to my mind is a bit of a hidden gem.

Having undergone various guises, and facing stiff competition from other quality eateries near by in town, it might be easy for locals to over-look it if you’re not staying in the hotel. But it’s actually a great option for dining and unwinding, whether you’re looking for somewhere to stay in town or live locally and want somewhere to refuel in between shops.

THE VIBE

The service is decent and décor-wise, the restaurant is very much like the hotel itself, glossy and corporate but also friendly and relaxed at the same time.  it’s uber modern, no roaring fire and comfy worn in leather sofas.

SCOFF & QUAFF

There’s an everyday dining menu or go all out on the a la carte or choose afternoon tea. Chill in The Snug or sit in the Dining Room which features a stunning double height glass atrium. Oh and there’s a decent little bar – you’ll want to fill your kitten-heeled boots during happy hour in the cocktail bar.

I visited just before Christmas with my friend Sarah when in need of some sustenance during a particularly taxing festive shop (last minute scramble for pressies – you know the drill). For starter we shared the Textures of Beetroot (£7.25, pictured above) which was a delicious and dainty plate of goats cheese mousse, olive dust and tender pea shoots (they provided some tasty warm, fresh bread to accompany it).

For mains I choose the Pan-Fried Cod Loin with potatoes, green beens, fennel & chorizo and Mussel White Wine Sauce (£18.95, see above) while Sarah plumped for the Fillet of Sea Bass with Creamy Orzo Pasta, Crayfish and Lemon Puree (£16.75, see below). We’re fish fans, as you can tell.

And for pudding… (well it would be rude not to, right?) Dark Chocolate Ganach with Oreo Dust, Orange Puree, Clementine Compote and Mascarpone. Yes it was every bit as delicious as it looks (£8.00, pictured below).

KID-FRIENDLY?

The restaurant feels fairly formal so I’d say not somewhere you’ll feel comfortable with toddlers or rowdy kids – I certainly wouldn’t have taken mine at that age. But if you’re mudlets are older then they do kids afternoon tea, have a children’s menu and do children eat free offers…

ANYTHING ELSE?

As a restaurant set in the modern, shiny OWP hotel, SEVENTEEN can sometimes feel like it plays it a bit safe and is a bit corporate in terms of the atmosphere and deco. But, almost as though it’s addressing this (smart move Muddy thinks) the hotel has just introduced fun, new monthly themes to add character and give it a USP in this highly competitive part of town.

So throughout the whole of January you can tumble down the rabbit hole – and enjoy Alice in Wonderland inspired interiors and Afternoon teas. Just look at this!

Photo: Mollie Manning

Choose from an eclectic menu of sweet treats and savoury delights inspired by characters and quirks from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland like Chocolate Playing Cards, Marzipan Mushroom, Raspberry Mousse Cake and Strawberry Panna Cotta (see above).

Photos: Mollie Manning

Wash everything down with Alice’s Exotic potions ‘Drink Me’, ‘Queen of Hearts’, ‘The White Rabbit’ or a glass of Louis Roederer Champagne! Down a few of those and you’ll be grinning like a Cheshire Cat…

Accompanying finger sandwiches include Alice English Cucumber and Cream Cheese, Smoked Salmon, Egg Mayonnaise, Beef, Rocket and Onion Marmalade, and Ham and Mustard. Rumour has it that the February theme is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – so watch this space.

THE MUDDY VERDICT

Good for: Small group girlfriend get-togethers, when you want to take your Mum or the Mother-in-Law somewhere a bit swanky or for business/work lunches.

Not for: If you’re after a more cosy, rustic environment – battered sofas and roaring fires – then this is not for you. Could work for Date Night, but it’s not romantic in a roaring fire and snuggly sofa kind of way, rather more fun and formal.

SEVENTEEN, One Warwick Park Hotel, 1 Warwick Park, Tunbridge Wells TN2 5TA, Tel: 01892 520587, onewarwickpark.co.uk/food-and-drink

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