Restaurant review Sanctum on the Green, Cookham Dean
PUBLISHED: 11:17 22 December 2010 | UPDATED: 17:31 20 February 2013
London meets Cookham Dean at the newly-launched Santcum on the Green. Tessa Harris gives her verdict...
London meets Cookham Dean at the newly-launched Santcum on the Green. Tessa Harris gives her verdict
Sanctum on the Green is the new, sexier name for the former Inn on the Green in Cookham Dean. The building has had a major makeover, inside and out, and has rebranded itself claiming to offer vintage glamour. This manifests itself in the form of antique chandeliers and classic white and gold leather banquette seating.
Mark Fuller and Andy Taylor are the duo behind the venture. They also own Sanctum Soho in London, and have obviously invested heavily in the property, which boasts nine beautifully designed bedrooms, a pavilion-style marquee and a dramatic blacked-out outdoor swimming pool.
My husband and I are here to eat and as its a balmy summers evening we can choose inside, outside on the lovely walled patio, or in the conservatory. We compromise on the conservatory and study the menu. The starters and main courses are interesting: Wild Garlic and Nettle Soup intrigues but Keen Cheddar Quiche and Apple and Walnut Salad win Simon over.
I opt for English Asparagus and Hollandaise. One of my most blissful memories of this summer was picking asparagus under a perfect blue sky at the Copas Farm about a mile away from Sanctum. Was the asparagus locally sourced? I asked. General manager Steve Bowen, newly-arrived from The Waterfront at Plymouth, told me much of the produce on the menu came from local producers and was bought from Phil Bowditchs farm shop at nearby Bourne End.
My Hollandaise sauce was absolutely perfect and Simons salad was good, although the quiche was slightly burnt.
For mains Simon went for Calves Liver, Bacon and Mash, 16.50. It was perfectly cooked and flavoursome. My poached chicken breast in an Earl Grey and Truffle Broth, 16.75, was delicious. A generous portion of chicken came in a garlicky broth with an underlying hint of truffle. As it did not come with anything else, however, I ordered a spinach and Jersey Royals as side dishes, which at 2.95 each, seemed rather pricey, but its common practice in London of course.
Apparently the most popular dish on the menu is from the grill. Aged Hereford Rib of Beef with Bone Marrow sauce and Hand Cut Chips is made for sharing (at 17.50) per person and is served on a slate board. Lobster with Garlic Butter, from 19 for a half, runs a close second.
Fish lovers are well catered for with oysters, prawns (with Marie Rose sauce) and grilled squid on offer. Staples include Beer Battered Fish at 12.50 and Lemon Sole, Grilled or Meuniere at 19.50.
The dessert menu, however, was made up entirely of staples at 6 each. Chocolate Fudge Brownie, English Strawberries and Clotted Cream and Knickerbocker Glory the latter more saucy than glamorous I suggest. My Baked Vanilla Cheesecake and summer fruits was good and the home-made butterscotch ice cream was excellent, but a few more imaginative options were needed.
The Sanctums ambience and dcor is pleasing and the food passable, but we have sophisticated tastes in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and a bit more glamour on the menu wouldnt go amiss.
The Old Cricket Common, Cookham Dean, SL6 9NZ.
Tel: 01628 482 638.