The welcome email from Champneys Henlow says ‘Slowly but surely all our rooms are being re-furbished’ and, to be honest, some of the public space does look a little bit tired. But I cannot complain about my spacious room, with its flat screeen tv and its clean and fresh decor. Nor can I quibble about the outside space which is a delight.
In fact, there is no fault to find with Champneys. Apart from the fact that I was the only diner on the ‘Champneys table’, the special table set aside for Billy-no-mates. I read my magazine and drank my complimentary glass of rosè all alone. Still, I can’t blame Champneys and its staff for setting up this big table. It’s not their fault if no-one wants to sit with me (sniff…).
The food was excellent. There isn’t a lot of it, it must be said, and I do remember, last time I was at Champneys, having hallucinations about Twix bars and Kit Kats. But I’m sure that says more about me than about Champneys.
My starter was a baked celeriac and goats cheese truffle, garnished with date and apple, an amazing combination of sharp and earthy flavours. But the main dish was my favourite; a cauliflower steak which, unbelievably, is exactly what is sounds like; a big, thick slice of cauliflower grilled or griddled. This was served with roast vine tomatoes, quinoa and a very light mousse. Orange and polenta cake with mascarpone finished off my lonely meal.
Tomorrow’s schedule will possibly include a Pilates class, a woodland walk and a facial- all before lunch.