Hailed as a ‘temple of gastronomy’ by hotel expert Fiona Duncan, despite being a baby amongst its restaurant rivals, Moor Hall has taken the foodie scene by storm since its opening in 2017 and is already home to a very comfortable Michelin star.
Mark Birchall is the talent behind the food in this stunning grade II listed manor house, which dates as far back as 1282 and a recent major renovation in 2015 makes the dining experience all the more enjoyable. As you sit back and take in the luxurious and unique surroundings, including a sizable kitchen garden bursting with the home-grown ingredients for the impeccable tasting menus, you’d be hard-pressed to feel anything but wholly satisfied with pretty much everything in life. This is the good stuff.
Should you be inclined, you can choose to stay in one of the seven impressive bedrooms that have been refurbished with great care to ensure the most lavish and restful night’s sleep.
Many would argue that Birchall is the man solely responsible for winning and maintaining the second Michelin star at his previous home-from-home L’Enclume, so with that in mind, know to expect great things from the kitchen at Moor Hall…
The interior décor of the house itself has kept its heritage, but the dining room is refurbished in a refreshingly bright and contemporary style complete with minimalistic mid-century furniture and statement pendant lights scattered across the ceiling.
With a limited yet sociable number of covers, the tables are situated with enough space to stretch out and enjoy your meal in your own little bubble, but equally so with enough fellow diners around you to avoid feeling in the spotlight. The service is attentive and decidedly formal, whilst still being subtle – think first-class airline rather than buzzing bistro.
Speaking of buzz, there is certainly one of those extending from the kitchen which can be seen in the distance from the comfort of your table as Mark Birchall and his team whip up exemplary fare. But that’s excitement, passion and fast-paced professionalism rather than an unwelcomed clattering.
Birchall prides himself in his near-theatrical presentation and execution of food, all of which comes together in harmony with no single course standing out – but in a good way. Each plate that is brought through from the electric kitchen environment complements the last and the next, with the combination of dishes designed to come together as a whole. A beautiful arrangement and one that is hard to forget.
With everything made on the premises, from the whipped butter and alpine cheese to the home-brewed honey mead used for one of his famed desserts, it’s clear to see that Birchall takes his commitment to astounding food to a whole new level, but this is unsurprising given how he jumped in at the deep end right at the start of his career.
Immediately after finishing catering college, Birchall’s talents were noticed and he landed his first job at Michelin Starred The Walnut Tree, where he claims he really learned how to season food properly under the watchful eye of head-chef Franco Taruschio. From there he transitioned back to his home county of Northcote to work with Nigel Haworth, where his love for local sourced, seasonal produce was first born: ‘Nigel went to the extreme in sourcing regional produce ¬– he even bought an indigenous herd of cattle!’ he says in an interview with Great British Chefs. ‘He taught me how important local, seasonal produce is, not only in terms of quality but how it helps the local economy. Nigel has always been incredible when it comes to cooking meat, and his sauces were amazing. It was at Northcote that I really learnt how to cook.’
Before taking the helm at Moor Hall, Birchall took on the job as sous-chef in critically acclaimed L’Enclume where, despite the current chef and menu already holding a Michelin star, he decided to make some changes which ended up in transforming the offerings into a 100% British menu with food sourced from its own farm. Shortly after, they won their second star.
After this, Mark set out on his own and opened his very own restaurant, Moor Hall, in September 2016. Carrying with him his respect of and understanding for fantastic, seasonal, local produce (he even has his own cheese-making suite, butchery and charcuterie room alongside his kitchen garden and small brewery!) and artfully presented dishes, it’s no wonder that rave reviews and Michelin stars are pouring in for this young restaurant that we can only see getting more and more impressive in years to come.
With a choice of two set tasting menus priced at £70 and £105 per head, each featuring wonderfully constructed, creative dishes using British ingredients and served with what only can be described as artistic grace, we won’t be the first to say this Michelin rated restaurant is a bargain.
Expect unsuspecting treats such as baked carrots with chrysanthemum flowers and sea buckthorn, presented in a way so beautiful and delicate that you’ll struggle to bring yourself to eat it! Enjoy fish (using a Studio William fish knife and fork!) cooked so perfectly that is falls apart and melts in the mouth and expertly balanced desserts that hit all the right notes, every time.
Moor Hall uses Larch Silverplate and Mahogany Satin
Mahogany Satin Cutlery
Mahogany cutlery has been designed to highlight the functional area of a utilitarian object, by making a feature of the manufacturing processes, that go into creating cutlery.
Available in Satin finish only.
Larch cutlery has historical design influences from the 1700’s, but the flowing form gives this pattern a modern, ergonomic edge.
Available in Mirror, or Silverplate finishes.