2013
01/23

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WINTER LUXURY Blantyre Delivers Country Charm, Tudor Elegance and Superb Cuisine

By JR Rosenthal

Blantyre Dining Room

Blantyre Dining Room   

If Noel Coward and Ian Fleming were still alive today I’ve no doubt that Blantyre, a country-house hotel and Relais & Cheateaux property in Lenox, Massachusetts, would be their favorite escape from the rigors of writing plays, smoking Chesterfields and inventing English cultural icons like James Bond.

Blantyre may well be the last of the elegant, formal hotel properties in New England. Male guests are asked to wear jackets and ties at dinner. You can walk through the front door and take a time-tunnel-trip to an era when dressing with panache was an expression of elegant living, and formality was not a dirty word but, rather, a lifestyle choice.

Before showcasing the services that set Blantyre apart, here’s a brief description of its architectural splendor: “A meandering driveway leads from the front gates by graceful turns to the porte cochere. Inside, a 34-by-28-foot living room, with its beamed ceiling and massive fireplace at one end, is both authentically Tudor and very much like the heart of a Free or Shingle house.

Yum

Yum

“The black-oak paneling runs up the walls, and the upper third was finished to the ceiling in red leather decorated with trophy animal heads. The huge center table came from the Marquand Collection, and the remaining furniture was copied from pieces at Hatfield House” {Houses of the Berkshires 1870-1930, Acanthus Press}.

Add to this description the fresh-cut flowers, overstuffed chairs, leaded glass windows and rich, burnished woods and you get an idea of Blantyre’s unique ambience. With eight beautifully furnished guest rooms and suites (many with fireplaces) on the second floor, Blantyre offers comfort, style and a staff that is second to none in the accommodations

Tonights Canape - Boulette de Boeuf with Fennel Puree

Tonights Canape – Boulette de Boeuf with Fennel Puree

industry today.

Simon Piers Dewar transitioned last year from his role as a brilliant chef to running the day-to-day operations at Blantyre. “The goal is to make sure that the guests get absolutely everything they need,” said Dewar, who is both intelligent and thoughtful about his role in overseeing the property. “Blantyre has to stand for something, setting a gold standard, greater than what you’d expect to find anywhere else.”

French Technique Speaks with a Local Accent

Chef Arnaud Cotar handles the kitchen at Blantyre with the ease of Diana Rigg playing Medea in London’s West End Theatre District. Cotar, who served as sous chef for 11 years during the reign of Christopher Brooks at Blantyre, took over as executive chef last year and has kept things ticking along quite nicely. The food reflects French technique with American—specifically local/New England—ingredients and produce.

NT brings you a sampling of dishes on the current menu, with a few comments to put the excellence of the meal in proper perspective:

 

Cod

Cod

Starters

LOBSTER BISQUE with Parsnip, Scituate Lobster and Black Garlic

The black garlic is the ingredient that makes all the other elements work together in harmony. The lobster is rich and perfectly cooked.

SAUTEED VEAL SWEETBREADS with Wild Mushroom Agnolotti, Pearl Onion, Madeira

Who but Cotar would have made beautiful homemade pasta stuffed with aromatic wild mushrooms to complement the texture of the sweetbreads? Genius!

PRESSED LA BELLE FARM FOIE GRAS with Toasted Raisin Brioche and Pickled Pear

The foie gras is as lovely and complex as anything you’d find in the best restaurants in Lyon or Paris.

Main Courses

Chef Arnaud Cotar

Chef Arnaud Cotar

BRAISED RHODE ISLAND MONKFISH with Saffron Risotto and Fennel

The locally-sourced fish, when paired with the saffron and fennel, is light and flavorful.

BONELESS LAMB RACK with Chickpea Croquette, Swiss Chard, Black Olive and Yellow Pepper Romesco

This dish has a Mediterranean flair with spices and the crust on the lamb makes taking each bite a sensual pleasure.   

MILLBROOK FARM VENISON LOIN with Medjoul date, Endive, Confit Carrot, Poivrade Sauce

The venison exudes bold flavors that can only be enjoyed with a glass of Duckhorn Merlot. The nuances of the dates steal the show!

 

Canapes

Canapes

 

IF YOU GO

The winter is a very special time at Blantyre, with the option of arranging a gourmet Snow B-B-Q for a party of 8 or more, and the cozy charm and warmth of this Tudor gem.

For reservations for lodging or dining:

Blantyre

16 Blantyre Road

Lenox, MASS 01240

Phone: 413-637-3556

welcome@blantyre.com

reservations@blantyre.com

www.blantyre.com

 

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