Grace & Savour, Solihull, UK

Grace & Savour, Solihull, UK

Eat the seasons at the gastronomic guesthouse bringing a forkful of Scandinavian cool to Solihull’s green and pleasant surrounds

we hear the phrase “immersive dining”, it puts us off our
supper. Multi-course menus weaving a half-developed gastronomic
narrative, hushed dining rooms piped full of pretension, and
puff-chested chefs telling us they’re changing dining? No,

But then something came along that convinced us otherwise. Grace
& Savour, a new five-bed restaurant with rooms nestled beside
the walled garden of the Hampton Manor estate, opened earlier this
year with minimal fanfare. There are no white tablecloths or
haughty waiters explaining the impossible intricacies of a
precision-cooked morsel here. Helmed by chef David Taylor and his
co-host (and wife) Anette, this achingly cool venue makes no play
to redefine fine dining. Instead, it’s cutting back the fluff to
offer a pared-back – but studiously well-done – night of good

Okay, there are 15 courses for dinner (many, just a bite), but
the story Taylor tries to tell is a simple one, about the produce
on the plate. Thanks to the restaurant’s focus on growing
relationships with farmers who reject intensive industrial farming, as
well as with small-boat fisheries and regenerative producers, the menu
is a celebration of food grown well. The same ethos is behind the
five elegant bedrooms, which were furnished by a team of crafters and artisans from across the UK.
Having spent time working in Oslo, the couple have brought the
Norwegian city’s sultry sophistication to Solihull’s rural

Grace & Savour, Living Room
Grace & Savour, Food

The drawing room, left, and malt crackers with wild

Upon arrival, you’ll be taken for a garden tour by the chef
himself, wandering beneath sky-high hollyhock flowers and nodding
nasturtiums, the soil-dusted caps of early beets at your feet, as
Taylor explains the complexities of trying to grow your own. This
is England and you can’t feed a restaurant with spuds throughout
the winter. Already, the marigolds that have been prettifying
dishes all summer are gone, struck off by the recent heatwave.
Under the guidance of Hampton Manor’s resident health guru, Dr
Sally Bell, the team also works with trusted producers to source
what they can’t grow. Taylor tells us it’s about balance; finding a
path that offers the best produce, but also the best outcome for
the farmers they work with. An impressive 95 per cent of what they
serve is organic. The rest? Taylor says that sometimes the
certified-organic route isn’t economically viable for farmers, so
if growers minimise intervention, the restaurant is happy to buy
from them. Sustainability is a challenge – and one they don’t
always meet – but this is about progress, not perfection.

Hidden away on the edges of Solihull, this restaurant with rooms
made us pause; it felt like a breath of fresh air among the loudest
shouters of sustainability. Honest, edgy and endlessly hospitable,
it’s what immersive experiences should be.


Five rooms ring a central courtyard planted with lazily nodding
lilac verbena and black-eyed Susan. From our moss-hued sofa,
nestled behind large Crittall windows, we could peer out into the
swaying green. Inside, an earthy colour palette matches the kitchen
team’s sage-green aprons and Anette’s effortlessly cool Scandi-girl
wardrobe. Interiors are the kind that you want to touch – side
tables made from tree trunks, terracotta tiling underfoot and
pleasingly textured surfaces at every turn. Our room, The Whittler,
was dominated by wooden accents, from large ceiling beams to a
playfully scalloped headboard specially crafted for the room by
wood craftsman Alex Walshaw. Fjona Hill, Hampton Manor’s interiors
mastermind, worked with local woodworkers in each room to produce
unique sculptural coffee tables and tree trunk-like side consoles.
Bathrooms are green-tiled, with walk-in rainfall showers. The
bespoke concrete baths are a highlight – vast, trough-like vessels
in the bedrooms, perfect for pre-dinner preening.

Details are on point throughout. We arrived to fresh cherries
sitting in a Cara Guthrie ceramic bowl, a pinch pot of bath salts
beside the tub (alongside a handwritten recommended “ritual” for
enjoying them) and, beside the earthy-smelling vetiver root and
lemon peel-infused toiletries, additional Afrocenchix shampoo and
conditioner for curly-haired guests.

A suite Grace & Savour, Solihull, UK
The Ebeniste Ensuite, Grace & Savour, Solihull, UK

An elegant suite corner, left, and an ensuite.

What’s for dinner?

Brace yourselves. Take a seat in the 26-seater restaurant
(window tables overlook the walled garden) and prepare to

Chef David Taylor has worked under Jason Atherton and Glynn
Purnell, but it’s clear that a core influence was his time spent
tending the pass at Oslo’s Maaemo. The 15-course meal is a
celebration of seasonality, and the relationship between farmer and
chef. We’ll spare you the full run-down (which changes with
whatever’s coming out of the garden, anyway) but highlights from a
cornucopia of delights included a crispy bite of fried sourdough
starter topped with sweet beetroot and sharp pickled wild garlic
capers, a tender Cornish lobster tail washed in a warm sauce of
roasted shells, buckwheat and soppressata, and soft, smoky leeks
hidden beneath a seductive butter and beef garum emulsion. Our
favourite dish? The tart scoop of sheep’s milk sorbet paired with a
redcurrant compote and salty, caramelised whey. That, or the
really, really good butter (the kind you find yourself cutting
small cubes off and eating sans bread). Dishes are exciting,
unusual and beautifully presented. It’s easy to slide this kind of
dining under the umbrella of Noma’s New Nordic approach, but there
was something fresh about Taylor’s dishes – and distinctly

We’d recommend opting in for the drinks flight, which marries
dinner courses with everything from natural bins and funky pet nats
to malty German beers. The list is curated by Maxwell, the
so-called “wine wizard”, who’s also the brains behind the
restaurant’s beats – a sophisticated soundtrack of modern music.
Our dining partner was thumbing Shazam throughout the meal to save
down songs by Thundercat and more.

The dining area, left, and an elderflower mackerel


When Taylor told us he’d see us in the morning for a five-course
breakfast, we thought he was joking. Turns out, he wasn’t. Cheese
and charcuterie preceded a trio of morning dishes. Our favourite
was the juicy sausage served beside a thick slice of toast. The
cinnamon roll made by the estate’s resident baker, Min Go, had us
rolling out for a post-prandial stroll to the bakery at the top of
the walled garden in search of further sweet bakes to take

Is there a bar?

No, but you can order from the drinks menu throughout your stay.
Upon arrival, we were offered a refreshing iced Japanese green tea
and a tart vermouth (made especially for the restaurant at
Worcestershire’s Astley Hall) with garden tonic, plus a snack of
butter-yellow Jersey Royals topped with pickled magnolia, red
runner bean flowers and a grating of cured egg yolk.


Little extras are taken seriously around here. Beside the kettle
in our room, we found a tin of Hasbean coffee beans, plus a
hand-powered grinder and a French press for making our morning
brew. Fresh milk is supplied in the mini fridge.

Rooms have radios with Bluetooth pairing, too.

What are the eco-credentials like?

Apart from the gardening efforts and sustainable sourcing of
regeneratively farmed produce, UK artisans were used where possible
in interiors, to support heritage craft. The toiletries (full-size)
are from Birmingham-based organic skincare brand Harvest.

What about accessibility?

Everything – from rooms to restaurants – is on one level. Just
note that the paths in the walled garden are slightly sloped and
rough underfoot.

What’s the crowd?

Couples with an appetite.

Within a short walk I can find…

Hampton Manor’s cornucopia of projects. Everything sits on one
site, so you’ll find the Michelin-starred Peel’s restaurant tucked
into the mid-19th-century-built stately home and a wood-fired
eatery, Smoke, housed in the black-painted shed beside the
greenhouses. Come Sunday, this transforms into a bakery and coffee
shop (where you can pick up a bag of Hasbean coffee to take home).
The estate grounds are open to explore, too.

Things I should know…

You won’t regret chatting with David and Anette. Warm,
knowledgeable and welcoming, they’re the lifeblood of the stay. Oh,
and don’t bother with lunch before you go – this one requires a
growling stomach.

The Lowdown

Rooms, including a full experience of chef’s garden
tour, 15-course tasting menu and breakfast, cost from £360pp a
night. Dinner reservations cost from £135pp.