When it comes to hotel food, in my opinion, I can be a little dubious. The whole buffet aspect encourages the question of ‘where on earth has this all come from’ and understandably, when feeding the thousands (or y’know floors 1-6) it’s generally cheaper to opt for quantity opposed to quality. Of course, this is entirely presumptuous- but there is a stereotype when it comes to this kind of thing, and you really can’t blame a girl for wondering.
There have been times when staying at certain hotel chains (no names here) where the safest breakfast bet would be come Coco Pops and a banana (I know, trés sophisticated), and dinner would be taken elsewhere- simple. However, last month when Joe and I were invited to the Cardiff Marriott Hotel, things were a little different. Invited to try their new River Cottage menu, a partnership with River Cottage’s Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the whole premise includes changing the opinions on hotel food, and using more sustainable, local and seasonal ingredients- helping local farmers and creating something pretty damn tasty in the process.
Opting for a marinated chicken salad with pine nuts, basil and raisins, followed by lamb with mashed celeriac with chilli and thyme- it was the perfect twist on a classic Sunday dish, with Joe trying out the brisket with anchovy and rosemary potatoes and the most delicious red wine sauce. With the meat having that certain ‘melt in the mouth’ quality and flavours complimenting one another perfectly (without being too overpowering)- it was certainly a treat. For dessert (after much deliberation) we selected the ultimate rustic beetroot brownie and delicious date sticky toffee pudding- and left feeling like a very lucky pair- certainly a meal so good, I’m pretty sure it’s worth popping in, regardless of whether you’re staying the night.
-Osama Hirzalla, Vice President Brand Marketing & eCommerce for Marriott International in Europe.