The Prince Regent is a sprawling series of buildings, including an old chapel which gives the hotel a charm, both English and unique. Just off the South Woodford village green, on the approach from London complete with Ealing Studios country signposts. The quaint English props set the tone. Surrounded by lush lawns, the Prince Regent is secluded and bordered by woodland. The main buildings are all liveried in a classic white. But something the location of landscaping could not guarantee was the welcome, which was most warm and professional, from the receptionist to bar staff.
Walking around to the room through a connecting glass walkway, Lussorian got to see a wedding party, taking full advantage of the setting. An undoubtedly fine set of wedding photos were being shot. The bride in white, on the lush green lawn, promised something rather special for the wedding photo album..
After settling in a good size room, and mastering the wifi and controls on the TV, thoughts turned to dinner. In the stylish and social restaurant I started out, as earlier, with a warm Prince Regent welcome. This was particularly appreciated as I was dining solo, which is often the case for business travellers. Those, whose business trip takes them to this area of London, should make note of this fact.
Not only was service attentive and efficient, the food was a real treat. I chose to start with a guilty pleasure. – prawn cocktail served in a conserves jar. It was delicious. Plump prawns splashed with a zesty dressing.
Fired up by that, and in anticipation of a hearty meal, I asked for a glass of Chablis. It was stated ‘bottle only’ on the menu, but my waitress Lucy helpfully produced an open bottle. Moments later a nicely chilled glass of splendid French white wine arrived at the table.
Armed with the cool glass of finest white there was a chance to admire the choice of art on the walls. Colourful and interesting and a thoughtful counterpoint to the dark woods of the dining room furniture. It was also noted that the hotel had not settled for pastoral Constables.
Contemplating the choice of wall art did not last long as I was there for the immediate needs of eating and before you could say ‘interesting vegetarian option ‘ the main dish arrived. A quail egg wobbling softly centre in a rosti nest. It is often a measure of a kitchen how it chooses to service the needs of those who are after an hors piste option – in this case the vegetarian option.
The vegetarian option, like the service, was good.
After a zesty prawn starter and a seed strewn rosti quail nest, the final act had to be something rather traditional and comforting. And comfort food doesn’t get better than a Belgian waffle with a scoops of fine vanilla ice cream and a lone strawberry.
The Prince Regent is a fine family hotel. The cheerful service and the interconnected rambling complex allows guests to have their own personal slice of the Prince Regent offering. The country club element is certainly enhanced by the quaint backdrop of the local village. Moreover, the local golf course gives guests a chance to go and practice their strokes.
On leaving I looked back at the Prince Regent and took in the fact that the whole complex had something of a country retreat, just the place for a discreet, princely weekend.
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