Joanna Barnett, The Grove’s Hotel Manager, on the completion of a renovation project, and what this means for the many different food and drink options at the luxury destination
How big an undertaking has the 3-year renovation project been for The Grove?
It’s been an exciting project for the whole hotel, which we have tackled in stages to ensure we are able to deliver the same high standard of experience to our guests throughout. We started during COVID-19, making the most of forced closures, and have now refurbished all 189 West Wing bedrooms, all of the hotel’s restaurants and public spaces, our award-winning Sequoia spa, our golf facilities, and finally our 25 mansion rooms and suites.
Why was it necessary?
We are committed to delivering unforgettable experiences to our guests. A huge part of that is the beautiful grounds and gardens of our 300-acre estate and it is important that the internal areas of the hotel are up to the same high standard. Many of the original furnishings still feature in the designs, albeit with a re-imagined look. The 16th-century mansion building has been restored to combine modern style with its rich history, creating a welcoming and contemporary feel, accented by unique and thought-provoking art installations, floral displays and sculptures.
How exciting is it to reach the final phase?
We are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year, and it is amazing to see how far we’ve come. We are excited to be completing the renovation work and look forward to welcoming our guests, both returning and new, to see the finished product.
Were The Stables and Madhu’s part of the renovation project?
Following a complete redesign, Madhu’s, the authentic Indian experience in the heart of the Mansion, has unveiled a new menu and stylish makeover. Inspired by Lodhi Gardens in New Delhi, Clique Design Studio has weaved The Grove’s fabric of royal heritage, vast spaces and nature into the new design of Madhu’s at The Grove.
In partnership with StudioJill, The Stables bar, terrace and courtyard have been redesigned to enhance the dining experience. The Stables bar area has been extended, creating a private area for small groups when required, also allowing for 32 additional seats. The outdoor areas feature chic new furnishings, including high and low-level seating, parasols and manicured garden features, alongside a bespoke bar complete with a pergola in the courtyard.
Who oversees the cooking at both?
Executive chef Maarten Geschwindt oversees all of The Grove’s dining. At The Stables, Head Chef Matthew Hurry leads the kitchen. Having previously worked at the likes of CORD by Le Cordon Bleu, Hotel Café Royal, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and InterContinental London Park Lane, Matthew will be cooking a great variety of high-quality British classics that will appeal to all tastes and dietary requirements.
At Madhu’s, the menu is overseen by Creative Chef and Marketing Director Poonam Ball.
What kind of menus can we expect at both this April?
The new menu under Matthew Hurry will offer guests great British classics, redefined and featuring produce from Jemima’s Kitchen Garden as well as local suppliers who are committed to the regenerative agriculture movement. Highlight dishes include lightly spiced hand-dived scallops with crispy pork belly and charred pineapple, a slow-cooked 41-day-aged beef cheek accompanied by heritage carrots and chimichurri sauce, and Devonshire rack of lamb with herbes de provence and minted jus.
The menu at Madhu’s offers guests an authentic Indian experience. Must-try dishes from the new menu include zesty chilli and garlic prawns, Madhu’s lamb shank braised in their signature mchuzi sauce, Madhu’s makhani dahl, masala fish, asparagus choma cooked on the robata and refreshing Alphonso mango sorbet for those with a sweet tooth.
What else does The Grove offer when it comes to food and drink?
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Glasshouse restaurant and bar are the beating hearts of The Grove. The restaurant puts a contemporary, theatrical spin on traditional hotel buffets with its live-action cooking stations that showcase global cuisines including Italian, Japanese and Indian, alongside a statement dessert bar. The characterful and intimate Lounges within the mansion serve traditional Japanese sushi, whilst the cocktail bar offers an array of signature tipples and lighter bites and, from April, a seasonally-inspired Afternoon Tea made with ingredients picked from their very own Jemima’s Kitchen Garden will be served. The newly refurbished spa is now home to the brand-new Sequoia Kitchen, where hotel residents, spa day guests and spa members can enjoy a healthy-yet-delicious menu of Asian-inspired broths, poke bowls and wraps. Guests can also enjoy food and drinks in the Walled Garden during the summer months, with The Grove Grill barbeque on hand to serve up flame-cooked dishes. The Potting Shed is home to The Grove’s culinary pop-ups throughout the year, including this summer’s Verde Kitchen.
With the many options, are you looking to cover all bases?
Yes, with five dining destinations and three bars across the estate, The Grove offers something for everyone.
What else can we look forward to this spring?
This spring, guests can look forward to Easter at The Grove, with its curated selection of immersive family activities, including the Mad Hatter’s magic show and the ultimate Easter Egg Hunt. Expect the perfect staycation.
For the bank holidays in May, guests can choose from a variety of experiences including the Football and Golf Getaway, where fans can treat themselves to an overnight stay at The Grove with golf and an Arsenal match day experience. Back on Black is the ultimate tournament experience made up of four qualifying rounds, culminating in the Grand Final, playing off the ‘tips’ – giving guests a full championship, competitive experience, and Football Escapes will be ready for the kids – a first-class football coaching course led by former Premier League players and UEFA coaches.
Returning this summer, the Everyman Secret Garden allows guests to experience the evening breeze with a film under the stars after dinner at one of The Grove’s mouth-watering restaurants. Browse countless food stations at The Glasshouse, enjoy British classics at The Stables, try the pop-up Italian restaurant, Verde Kitchen, or enjoy the finest South Asian cuisine at Madhu’s, before the 8pm screening in the Walled Garden.
Further events include The Grove’s latest immersive dining experience in partnership with Feast on Cloud 9. A range of enchanting, hand-crafted hot air balloons with vintage-style wicker dining baskets will be set by the beautiful water exhibit in the Formal Gardens. The balloons will be available each day for either afternoon tea or a nine-course gourmet tasting menu.