Horto Harrogate Review: A Relaxed Approach to Fine Dining
Horto Harrogate Review – Horto Restaurant Rudding Park – Best Restaurants Harrogate – Fine Dining Yorkshire –
Horto Harrogate Review: A Relaxed Approach to Fine Dining
It doesn’t seem like two minutes since Horto first appeared as an initial summer pop in the grounds of Harrogate’s stunning Rudding Park Estate. The perfect partnership formed between Head Chef Murray Wilson and Head Kitchen Gardner Adrian Reeve, to create sublime dishes which showcase the abundance of produce grown at Rudding Park. Fast forward 13 months with rave reviews, Horto are now settled into their permanent new home.
Moving from its humble pop up location into their new £10 million development as part of the new spa located on the estate. With high expectations following our pop up experience and from the pictures we’d seen of their new investment, we were very excited to sample the delights of Horto once again.
The restaurant and its staff were instantly welcoming. As we walked through the stunning spa we were quickly greeted and asked if we wanted a ‘cocktail on the terrace’ first. The perfect start. Lucky with a sunny evening we were so impressed with our surroundings, newly build white stone buildings, in-keeping with Rudding Park’s heritage and beautifully manicured gardens. It already felt like a real treat.
The wow from the outside continued on the inside. The restaurant décor is clever, reflecting the garden leaves and flowers to give a real sense of the outside spilling into the restaurant. Something that the evening’s dishes also reflected. With the addition of soft lighting, sumptuous booths and modern art there really has been no expense spared on heightening the guest experience.
With the choice of their A la Carte Menu (£54) or six-course Tasting Menu (£64pp) including snacks, we opted for the latter, with the menu turned over on the table so guests can decide if they’d like to keep the courses a surprise until arriving at the table. Unfortunately, curiosity got the better of us! There is also an option of paired drinks, a mixture of cocktails and wines which my partner opted for and which we would highly recommend.
Our first snack and a similar dish to one I couldn’t forget from my last visit. Mozzarella foam, compressed tomato with a citrus lime filling, basil micro herb and finished off with a refreshing tomato water. Perhaps the best tomato and mozzarella I’ve tasted, a celebration of tomatoes from sweet sundried, raw to poached. Delicious. The drink pairing was their sweet but light ‘Garden G+T’ showcasing Harrogate’s own Slingsby Gin.
To follow two perfectly presented cep and horseradish dumplings which Head Chef Murray brought out and explained himself. Down in one mouthful of balanced flavours.
Our final snack, comforting smoked potato and cheese mousse on a bed of smoked eel and puffed wild rice, topped with seaweed powder. A real abundance of flavour and textures from this little pot of heaven.
Our first course really showcased the ethos of Horto and the wealth of ingredients from their kitchen garden. Baby leaves and pickled vegetables on bed of herb mousse, finished with a fine bacon and millet crumb. The definition of healthiness on a plate served with sticky honey glazed spelt bread rolls and bright green sorrel butter. For non-salad fans, there was no bland or boring element in sight. A celebration of vegetables and herbs, very creative and looked too good to eat. Perfectly paired with a crisp white rare Austrian wine.
The first of two seafood dishes couldn’t have been a better nod to the east coast crab. First a perfect mouthful of spicy brown crab meat on a crisp spelt cracker. Also a sumptuous bowl of white crab, fresh pea and dill. The addition of pea and horseradish sorbet really took this dish to another level.
It was so nice to experience a buzzing restaurant atmosphere (full on a Tuesday evening) alongside incredible ‘fine dining’ style food. If this wasn’t enough the staff are absolutely spot on, highly knowledgeable, attentive and informal, making the whole evening relaxed foodie heaven. We’d already decided by this point that Horto is one of our new favourites and what date we were booking to come back for a sleep, dine and spa getaway.
Our final seafood course was another masterpiece. A plump seared Shetland king scallop, poached mussels in a light, fragrant curried veloute and served with pickled cabbage and crisp potato.
Melt in the mouth, locally reared venison complimented with a deep smoky barbeque sauce, served with sweet beetroot from the kitchen garden. Paired this time with a generous glass of light red wine.
Failure to opt for the additional cheese course would have been a disaster. With an impressive selection expertly curated with the help of Yorkshire’s own Courtyard Dairy. Our waiting staff gave great insight into each of the chosen cheeses.
Another perfect mouthful to cleanse the palate. Sorrel and tarragon sorbet served in a honey apple filo cone.
Our final dish and yet another that showcased the inventive style and creativity of Murray and the team. Woodruff ice cream served with poached Yorkshire strawberries and an oat crumb, there could not have been a better combination of flavour. Quite a big bold hit of vanilla and almond that worked well with the sharpness of fruit. Accompanied by a glass of crisp Sake this was the perfect finisher to an impressive evening.
Every element of the evening deserves full marks. It’s great to see the team at Rudding Park really putting their all into the new location of Horto from last year’s pop up venue. Outstanding food, expertly paired drinks, great atmosphere, and impeccable service, resulting in Horto being one of our standout destinations of the north.
Horto, Rudding Park Hotel, Rudding Lane, Follifoot, Harrogate HG3 1JH – 01423 844822
Horto Harrogate Review – Horto Restaurant Rudding Park – Best Restaurants Harrogate – Fine Dining Yorkshire