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Was the Chateau Marmot pop-up worth it?

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chateau marmot

I went to Henley on Friday night, where I tried out the Chateau Marmot pop up restaurant I told you about back in August. Had too much fun, and felt rough as a dog all yesterday (yes readers, I had to go to bed the same time as my 10 year old son!).

Both the Friday and Saturday night sittings were sold out, but it’s worth reviewing so that you have to the info to decide whether to go to future events or not – there’s an  eight-day Chateau Marmot stretch in the offing in London in Oct/Nov with LA pop-up restaurant pioneer Laurent Quenioux. I’m also hoping to connect the Chateau Marmot guys with other cool potential pop up venues in Bucks and Oxfordshire next year – because why should Henley have all the fun?!

A fantastic venue for the restaurant, don't you think?

The Henley Chateau Marmot was held in the gorgeous glass and timber building of the Rowing & River Museum (above). On a sunny evening we’d have enjoyed views out over the river of course, but it was tanking it down on Friday, so we all shuttled through into the building as fast as we could.

Though the 5 course tasting menu was obviously the calling card of the evening, overseen as it was by Ottolenghi executive chef Ramael Scully and colleague Christopher Lyon of Nopi in Soho, for me the evening was as much about the sense of occasion and the fun of doing something totally different. For starters Henley is a good 45 minutes away for me so Mr Muddy and I stayed over for the night at the Hotel du Vin, about 5 minutes from the venue, so we could avoid a yawnsome taxi home and gain a night away from the kids (result!)

So to the night itself. Well, I did what I usually did and got a bit piddled and forgot to take pictures of several food courses – an accurate Muddy marker to how good the evening’s been.

Here was the menu if you can read it for all my red wine spillages.

Chateau Marmot and Hotel du Vin 014

 

First course: heritage tomatoes, tomato essence, cherry bocconcini, olive and basil

First course: heritage tomatoes, tomato essence, cherry bocconcini, olive and basil

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Braised beef short rib, butternut squash and carrot puree, crispy kale and masterstock jus – this course was amazing

 

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Final course: chocolate ganache, strawberry and chocolate soil with mascarpone

I’m afraid I didn’t take photos of an absolutely incredible show roast ‘Chiltern black pig’ pork belly, with apple and pear puree and nasi goreng stuffed cabbage. Nor the pan-fried mackerel with my new favourite vegetable kohlrabi which I first tried at The Hundred pub in Ashendon last month.

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The ‘living’ table displays which we sneakily  nibbled at all evening.

The cost of the food on the evening was £48 per person, with wine on top. Wines were good actually, and out of journalistic curiosity I continued to try them all night (see what I do for you).

The presentation of the food was lovely as you can see, and I’m a big fan of tasting menus – a little bit of a lot of what you fancy – and the vibe was really good in the room, it felt more like a wedding than an evening at a restaurant.

I’d suggest to Chateau Marmot that they perhaps ‘brand’ the night more, to underline their involvement and its pop-up specialness – a big banner on the wall, perhaps more of a statement on the dressing of the room, an introduction from the team when everyone is seated to give it a bigger sense of occasion. There were some staffing issues too, where a couple of local teenagers hadn’t turned up, which meant initial seating and cocktail delivery was a bit slow.

BUT Mr Muddy and I found it different, fun, a reason to dress up, an opportunity to hang out with a new Marlow-based set of friends, and of course eat great food in an unusual location.

It’s a Muddy thumbs up from me.

*hic*

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Oh dear. Pickled, shiny moi on left, with friends Lizzie, Polly and Donna

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 comments on “Was the Chateau Marmot pop-up worth it?”

  • a crazy week of angels… | Mummy In Manolos September 16, 2013

    […] booked this ages ago after reading about it on my friend Hero’s blog Muddy Stilettos – a few of us had bought tickets, so all decided to group together on one table – a […]

    Reply
  • Saturday night at Chateau Marmot | perfectfridaywine September 23, 2013

    […] No, it’s not a typo. I haven’t been living it up in L.A. at the iconic Chateau Marmont with Harry Styles and RPatz (think very exclusive, no way would they let me in anyway, celeb hang out). In fact, I haven’t even left the home counties to experience the next best thing for a respectable mother in her mid-thirties; a pop-up restaurant. For 2 nights only, Chateau Marmot brought fine dining to the contemporary River and Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames, just up the road (lucky us!!). I’m guessing the smart yet informal venue overlooking the River Thames was a big attraction for the Marmot to swing by Henley, that and the abundance of local produce (which they’re big on) and affluent social-media using commuters (after all, the 0744 First Great Western service from Henley to London Paddington is the most crowded train in the UK). I emphasise ‘social-media using’, as it was on Twitter that I found out about Ch. Marmot, and the majority of the people around our table of 10 had also learned of its presence via social media in some context or other (2 independently from the muddystilettos.co.uk blog. If this is the sort of thing that its author, Hero, is blogging about, I’m signing up! Hero’s Ch. Marmot review here). […]

    Reply

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