Last weekend, Dan and I were invited to try out the menu at The Brasserie in Lancaster*, situated in the Royal King’s Arms Hotel, which is currently going through a refurbishment. We’ve grown to love Lancaster over the past year or so, and often visit to try out the great mix of cafes, coffee shops and restaurants, but we hadn’t actually heard of this one before. A quick glance of The Brasserie menu online, and I knew it would be right up our street with its mix of traditional and contemporary, so we booked in and couldn’t wait to visit!
The Royal King’s Arms is just a stones throw away from the main shopping streets in Lancaster, situated on Market Street and only a few minutes walk away from the train station. The hotel is currently being transformed with a more boutique feel and style, and the first part of this transformation was The Brasserie itself. On arrival, we were shown to our table in the beautiful new dining room which was light and airy, and decorated in a way that was both modern yet traditional and in keeping with the history if the building. We were greeted by bar manager Jonathan, who welcomed us with a glass of sparkling wine from the extensive drinks menu, which went down a treat!
We ordered our food from the A La Carte menu, but there’s also an All Day Brunch menu which sounded incredible, as well as a Sunday special menu, so plenty to choose from! Dan went for Smoked Tofu Tacos, and I chose the Savoy Hash Brown. Mine was one of the nicest starters I’ve ever eaten, super soft and fluffy inside and crispy on the outside, served on a delicious salad complete with pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. Dan also enjoyed his Taco starter and devoured it pretty quickly, which is definitely a good sign! Everything was so beautifully presented and tasted so fresh and light, leaving us ready for our main courses!
I decided on the Lamb Rump, served wild garlic colcannon, carrots and mint salsa, which was hands down one of the nicest lamb dishes I’ve tasted. The lamb was incredibly tender, the mint salsa was so dreamy, and anything with mashed potato is a winner in my books! Dan chose to have the Home Smoked Shredded Crispy Duck Salad which was amazing! This was served on sesame noodles with a hoisin dressing. Often you go to a restaurant and order something that promises to be ‘crispy’ but when it arrives, it’s anything but! This duck however was SO crispy and delicious, and there wasn’t an ounce of fat on it whatsoever. Dan was full of praise for this dish, so I just had to try a little myself, and couldn’t have agreed with him more.
During our main course, Jonathan also brought over a delicious cocktail for us to try, which made me very happy as it included my favourite thing; gin! We had ‘Spring’s First Bloom’ which was made from Hendrick’s, Elderflower Liqueur, fresh lemon and topped with egg white and mint leaves. This was so tasty and something I would definitely order myself. It gave us a hit of sweetness that was perfect to get us ready for the desserts!
From the dessert menu, I had to go for the Salted Caramel Chocolate Mousse (self confessed chocoholic right here!) and boy oh boy it did not disappoint! In my mind I was expecting something relatively simple, maybe served in a small glass topped with a little caramel sauce or maybe some seasonal fruit, but what arrived was a thousand times better! My plate was a chocolate-lovers dream; a large scoop of deliciously light chocolate mousse, covered in the tastiest chocolate-y biscuit-y crumbs, lashings of caramel sauce and, probably my favourite part, pistachio brittle! I know I’ve said this already about the rest of the meal, but this has to be up there with the best desserts I’ve had, and I’d order this again in a heartbeat. SO. GOOD!
Dan chose the Eton Mess Cheesecake which also looked incredible and consisted of smooth cream cheese, biscuit crumbs, Italian meringues, strawberries and toasted almonds. Of course I had to try a little, and this was just as tasty as mine, but on the lighter side if you were after something more delicate and not quite as rich as the plate of chocolate heaven that I had! Whilst all of the meal was delicious, I think the desserts were a highlight for us, and we liked how the menu was simple – just four or five to choose from.
Just when we thought we were finished, Jonathan brought over a little after-dinner treat; a shot of a new coffee liqueur which is currently exclusive to The Brasserie. Coming from someone who isn’t keen on a strong coffee taste, it was delicious, and the perfect way to finish of a gorgeous meal. We felt so well looked after whilst we were there by all of the staff members who tended to us, and everyone was happy to answer any questions we had, whether it be about the food or the building itself.
We learnt that there will be a new bar opening downstairs in the coming weeks, called The Crypt, which we’re already excited to visit! Continuing with the boutique feel of the hotel, The Crypt will be a chic underground cocktail and wine bar, exclusively for over 21s, and we’ll for sure be visiting once it launches in August!
Before leaving, we just had to snap some photos in the toilets, because just look at them! The men’s featured a floor to ceiling portrait of King George V, and both washrooms had some seriously stylish tiled floors which I was VERY envious off (bathroom goals right there!). The whole style of the refurbishment is beautiful, keeping the traditional features and feel throughout whilst adding modern touches here and there. I can’t wait to see it when everything is finished!
Thank you so much to the team at The Brasserie for making us feel so welcome, and for the delicious food! We will definitely be back, and couldn’t recommend this place more to anyone in Lancaster or the surrounding areas. You won’t be disappointed!
*Disclaimer: We were gifted dinner and drinks for 2 at The Brasserie for the purpose of this review. As always, all opinions are my own (and in this case, Dan’s too!) and always honest.