Matt Worswick at The Latymer * | Bagshot (UK)

Enjoyed every element of this meal with an impressive level of consistency.
The higher ends of this meal exceeding the one Michelin starred level.

Pennyhill Park is a vast country spa and hotel in leafy Bagshot, Surrey (UK). The estate dates back to 1609, but has been operating as a hotel since 1973. The Latymer is its flagship fine dining restaurant, awarded one Michelin Star and 4 AA Rosettes. The Latymer is situated in one of the oldest parts of the original house at Pennyhill Park. It has an intimate and luxurious feel with wooden paneling, a beamed ceiling and rich plush fabrics throughout. There is a view out over the extensive grounds. With no music playing, the thick carpeting leads to blissfully low noise levels in the room.

Since March 2016 The Latymer is run by Head Chef Matt Worswick. Matt is not your typical chef. Before his first kitchen job at St Martin’s on the Isles of Scilly, he worked in an office. By learning on the job, he built knowledge and experience.. Since then Worswick has had a glittering Michelin-starred career at top establishments including Le Champignon Sauvage (in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire), the Elephant (in Torquay, Devon) and Glenapp Castle (in Ballantrae, Ayrshire, Scotland), where he earned his first Michelin star at the age of 26.
After a stint at the Wirral’s Thornton Hall Hotel. I think it’s fair to say that a few eyebrows in culinary circles were raised when Matt was appointed Head Chef at the two Michelin starred The Latymer to fill the huge shoes vacated by Michael Wignall. When Michelin removed the two stars a few months later, I’m sure was not the fairy-tale ending for which everyone had initially hoped.
However, Matt and his team dusted themselves off and worked their socks off to be awarded a star in their own right in the 2017 Michelin guide. To me this shows great strength of character and respect goes to The Latymer for believing in and sticking with their man.

The Latymer is open for lunch on Saturday and Sunday and for dinner on Wednesday to Sunday. Beside à la carte they offer a 5-course tasting menu (Saturday lunch at £49, Sunday lunch at £59 and dinner at £69) or a 7-course tasting menu (Dinner only at £95). You can add a cheese course (£18.50 supplement) to all tasting menus.

We went for lunch last week Sunday and had the 5 course-tasting menu. We added a cheese course which we shared.

Amuse Bouches

A well flavoured Gruyère and Blanchetti truffle gougère filled with a truffle Mornay sauce. Crisp choux pastry filled with a truffle puree exuding a heady aroma. Iberico Ham with piccalilli gel. And best of all was a delicate cornet of brik pastry filled with smoked baba ganoush, pureed aubergine and cardamom yoghurt. The meticulous attention to detail of these delectable morsels augured well for the dishes which followed.

Homemade Soda Bread, Cultured Butter & Fermented Garlic

The bread was nice, as was the butter. But the fermented garlic emulsion topped with parsley powder was divine! Finished that in no time wanting more! Not an explosion of garlic, but gentle delicate garlic flavour and taste with a great creamy mouthfeel.

Colchester Oyster – Oyster emulsion, cured sea trout and sorrel granite

The taste of the sea in an oyster shell. Colchester oysters grow freely on the riverbed absorbing all the wonderful flavours from the marshes and salting that run along side the pure waters in Pyefleet creek. The creamy oyster emulsion still had all the flavours of this delicious oyster. The cured sea trout, not only added texture, but also complexity and enhanced the flavour. The sorrel granite finished it all creating a astounding combination perfectly describing the sea. As a first course, the dish is on the small side, but maybe I just wanted another one! A great signature dish.

Beetroot with Goat Cheese

As Joanne doesn’t eat cold fish, she got an alternative dish. Classic flavour combination of course. It was nice, creamy goat cheese with ribbons of beetroot with a crunchy tart base. Good, but nothing that stood out and no comparison to the oyster dish.

With every dish a little card was added to a small stand on the table with same facts on the ingredients used. Very nice touch and certainly added to the experience and the attention to detail you see everywhere.

Celeriac – Salt-baked celeriac, rémoulade, lovage and truffle

The celeriac was full of flavour, which is not easy to do. The rémoulade sorbet was silky and fresh. A nice bit of truffle coming through and the lovage added herbiness to the dish. Australian truffle was used which is identical to the famous Périgold truffle. A sunny spring dish. Even the green colours added to the senses. Excellent dish perfectly executed.

Risotto – Wild mushroom risotto, malt vinegar rice and parmesan

The dish seemed really small when it was served. But this really packed a punch. Perfect risotto, with malt vinegar coming through nicely. Earthy flavour of the mushroom, saltiness from the parmesan and a bit of crunch of the puffed rice. This dish hits all the spots! A true signature dish to me and my favourite so far!

Herdwick Hogget – Rack of hogget, asparagus, wild garlic pesto and smoked ewe’s curd

The hogget was beautifully cooked with a nice bit of fat on the rack. Full of flavour. The garlic pesto brings the spring to the dish and the rich jus was just perfect and deep also complimenting the morel mushrooms. Comforting yet delicated with all elements on the dish played there part perfectly. Hogget is a sheep that is between 1 and 2 years old. Less than a year old we call it a lamb and older than 2 years a mutton.

Aromatic Cheese Selection

The cheese course comes with it’s own menu. Beside going à la carte and choose your 5 personal favourite cheeses, you can also go for the one the selections selected for you: Classic, Aromatic or European. We went for the Aromatic selection, consisting of: Baron Bigod, Livarot, Reblochon, Tipsy Billy and Fourme d’Ambert. Served with plenty of biscuits and chutney.

Yorkshire Rhubarb – Rhubarb and vanilla bavarois, hibiscus poached rhubarb and ginger beer

Nice biscuit topped with vanilla bavarois and covered with rhubarb bavarois. The hibiscus flavour comes through but also enhances the rhubarb. A perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. Great finish of a perfect lunch.


Finally we were served orange infused canelés. Again perfectly prepared with a soft and tender orange flavoured custard centre and a dark, thick caramelised crust.

The service was terrific throughout the afternoon, the pacing of the dishes just right, the staff patient, helpful and attentive.

Matt Worswick has wowed us throughout this lunch, creating dishes of which he can be justifiably proud. I enjoyed every element of this meal with an impressive level of consistency. The higher ends of this meal, like the celeriac and the risotto, exceeding the one Michelin starred level. I’m looking forward to plotting the excuse to return already.