Oh, what a joy to be writing a travel review after so many months! If, like me, you’ve found the endless lockdown restrictions incredibly draining and your eyes need to look upon some greenery, then why not take a trip to the countryside for a delicious day out. Here’s what we thought of terrace dining at Nutfield Priory in Redhill, Surrey:

Nutfield Priory: The Lowdown

Nutfield Priory, a beautiful 4* hotel set in 12 acres of land, is an ideal location for an easy weekend break to the countryside. Only a 30-minute train to Redhill Station from London Victoria, this stately country home provides a perfect quick escape from the city. Designed by the architect John Gibson and modelled on the Palace of Westminster, the hotel is incredibly peaceful with a beautiful wrap-around terrace.

It’s the perfect place for a long-awaited family catch-up; food is served on the terrace overlooking the Surrey Downs, where you can dine for any occasion, from a very British afternoon tea to a celebration with lobster and champagne. It’s a great spot for exploring Surrey too, which has the most extensive network of footpaths in the country, perfect for keen walkers. You can then unwind on the terrace with a cold aperitif at sunset after a day of walking through the Surrey countryside.

Nutfield Priory: The Food

The food is an absolute delight. And I’m not just saying that because I’ve been locked inside my home with only my own cooking for the last 6 months. The terrace menu is one of those perfect all-rounders, featuring everything from picky bits in the form of ‘savoury bites’ to more substantial main courses.

We started with a selection of savoury bites (each £5); the Baharat spiced lamb meatballs with warm salsa are lightly spiced and moreish, the Chicken Caesar is a classic done well with crunchy croutons and a rich sauce. Mains were no less delicious; the Lobster Thermidor (£35) from the special lobster and champagne menu is faultless, rich, delicious, so indulgent, and the Lobster Bisque (£15) is a delicately saffron-spiced soup that zings on the palate. On the recommendation of our charming waiter, my guests orders the Ribeye steak (£23) with pink peppercorn sauce, hand cut chips and a rocket and confit pepper salad and declares it utterly divine. The only shortcoming, perhaps, is a slightly disappointing Smoked Salmon sandwich (£13) with bread that’s a little thick and indelicate for the fish, but with some delicious fries that make up for it.

We finish with their limited edition, special pudding – The Tripe T, an American-inspired dessert of rich chocolate dipping sauce, toast-your own marshmallows at the table and fruit for dipping. Perfect for Instagram. Perfect for sharing. Perfect for everyone.

Nutfield Priory: Our Verdict

This is the perfect spot for weekend al fresco dining in the countryside. The staff were charming and so friendly. The aspect is beautiful, overlooking the Surrey hills, with a peace and tranquility rarely found in London. The food is delicious, decadent and beautifully presented. Honestly, I would come back in a heartbeat. What a place, and how lucky we are to be able to finally enjoy it.

For more information and to book, see here.