What I knew about the Falcon Hotel before my visit: It’s a 16th century Tudor black and white half-timbered building run as a hotel.

What my wife and I had the pleasure to learn last night was a revelation: the interior of the hotel is a pleasant mix of contemporary and classical Tudor features, and there is a large bar with access from the street, serving a very tempting and modern bar menu.

But Will’s Place Restaurant was our destination for this evening.

The Restaurant decoration is a balance of oak panels, Inglenook fireplaces, old beams and modern oak framed glass.

As luck would have it we met the Head Chef, Phil Bailey and he agreed to serve us a selection of his favourite dishes off his current menu.

We started with a lemon sorbet to cleanse our palates which was a perfect balance of sweet and sour and did its job exceedingly well.

Next was a Butternut Squash velouté with crumbled stilton, which was velvet on the taste buds.

To follow was a true revelation, Goats cheese with textures of beetroot and honeycomb. The creaminess of the cheese with the sharp beetroot and the sweet honeycomb worked together to give a true mouthful of delight.

Our main dish of the evening was Plaice served with Samphire, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, mild capers and New Potatoes cleverly shaped as Mushrooms. It was a truly wonderful plate of perfectly cooked food.

To finish we had a Raspberry dessert, or more like a Raspberry festival.  The plate featured Ice cream, Marshmallow, Jelly, Coulis and Fruit, all raspberry flavoured.  The dish was cleverly created by nature and the very talented Phil Bailey.

The Falcon Hotel is a hotel I used to walk past because I live locally and had no need for a hotel. But The Falcon is so much more than a hotel; its friendly bar is packed with period features and has a truly quality restaurant that is really going places. I can’t wait to return and see what the talented Phil Bailey has created next time!

For more information on dining at The Falcon Hotel in Stratford-upon-Avon see http://shakespeares-england.co.uk/food-falcon

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