You may remember that we first visited this hotel as part of John’s birthday celebrations with a 5 course taster meal – actually a present from great friends. We were incredibly lucky to be invited back to spend a night at the hotel and sample their menu.
We decided to book in the Sunday before Christmas for some well-deserved rest and relaxation time. Our businesses and life have been pretty manic in the last month so we took this opportunity for some down time.
The Moonraker Hotel main building is nearly 500 years old so it holds a rustic, topsy-turvey charm – think wonky staircases and wooden beams in the rooms. We arrived around 3pm and checked in, we were greeted by the friendly, professional receptionist who’s name I can’t remember (sorry!!). We were impressed that the hotel had remembered that John has a dairy intolerance. I firmly believe that small, local businesses do well to remember these little notes for customers will serve them well. We were shown to the honeymoon suite J which was at the front of the hotel, overlooking the gardens.
Our room had everything we needed – a large comfy bed, tea and coffee facilities plus a huge contemporary bathroom. It took us a while to work out where to hang our clothes as the door to the dressing area was locked and needed our key. Being completely honest, we spent most of the afternoon in our room reading, watching TV and just chilling!
Our dinner reservation was at 7.30pm and we were excited to try the food as it had been SO incredible during our last visit. They were very good at going through the menu and telling JB what he could and couldn’t have. He had the terrine to start with which was the same as our taster meal. For main he went for beef which included fillet and cheek in a red wine sauce. I went for the vegetarian option – gnocchi with beetroot and goats cheese. Dean the chef, had very kindly prepared a soya based panna cotta. It’s so rare for a decent dessert to be on the menu that John can enjoy and that’s not sorbet!
Breakfast the following morning included a selection of continental goodies plus the option of various full English breakfast. Obviously, I had Eggs Benedict (my favourite) and JB went for smoked salmon with scrambled eggs.
My only improvements would be to improve the Wifi in the rooms (I imagine they have a lot of business folk staying who would need this) and to have some herbal teas in the room.
There is a legend behind the Moonraker – 500 years ago, Dutch and Flemish merchants had their HQ down the road in Swindon. The merchants favourite tipple was French brandy or Dutch gin (of course) however it carried a heavy import duty. In order to overcome this, the Wiltshire men would smuggle in barrels of spirits and once they reached this area, they would be hidden in village ponds. One night, whilst retrieving their barrels from the pond a patrol of police came by asking what they were doing. Thinking quickly on their feet, they pointed to the moons reflection and told the police that they were trying to rake cheese. Amazingly they got away with it!
We’ll definitely return to the Moonraker – I want to try the roast dinner!!