Radisson Edwardian Hotel Guildford, Spa & Relish restaurant
Finally, Guildford has a new hotel that’s actually in the town centre, and isn’t a Holiday Inn. I lived in the town for 21 years and love it to death, I couldn’t wait to come and see what the new Radisson had to offer. It is the town’s first four star deluxe hotel offering 183 rooms and suites, two restaurants, a dining terrace, spa, gym and conference facilities for up to 400 with seven private meeting and function rooms.
Situated at the top of town, the quieter end, it’s hidden down a little side street, conveniently right next to the sparkly new G Live entertainment venue. First impressions, it looked pretty special, apart from a couple of smokers sat on tables right outside the main entrance, I prefer to be greeted by doormen myself.
A huge custom-made chandelier hangs in the lobby which is designed to mimic a stage set, with lights rigged in the ceiling. There are tall shelves reaching up to the ceiling, a nod to Lewis Carroll who lived and died in Guildford.
We loved the cosy little Library area, very unique. Designer Rabih Hage was bought in by the Radisson chain, the first time they’ve sought an outside designer, we’re so glad they did as he’s given the place such character and style. The restaurants and bars were created by the great designers at the Gorgeous Group, whose recent projects have included the American bar and Beaufort bar at The Savoy, our fave Dishoom and the just-opened Waldorf Astoria Syon Park.
On the way up to our room we walk across a little walkway (a bit like a catwalk) where you can look down to the lobby, a cute little office area on top of the library kiosk, we forgot to go up there though.
Our room was big, a superior double it was dark, minimalist and modern. The bathroom had both a shower and a bath which was a bonus, shame the shower looked quite cheap and clunky next to the stylish basin and the rest of the bathroom, it didn’t quite work. Ade discovered the bin hadn’t been emptied and presented me with its contents, slightly off-putting.
The room was missing the thing we look forward to the most – a hotel pack, we love lying on the bed leafing through menus and spa treatments, but there was no information to be seen. Instead we headed out to find out for ourselves.
After a quick wander it was time for our spa treatment. Guests of the hotel are entitled to complimentary use of the very well-equipped gym . There is a charge of £10 per person per visit to make use of the wet spa area and relaxation room. Like the hotel, the spa is dark and minimalist, heavily fragranced with scented candles. We used the sauna and steam room, the jet-propelled pool was too cold for human use so we chilled next to it on the beds instead watching the sun go down in the distance.
Our Moroccan steam cleansing ritual treatment, £90, involved us being led into a room where there were various Himalayan muds laid out in little bowls, almost like ingredients on a cookery show. The therapist explained what we had to do, which basically involved taking the muds into the steam room attached and rubbing them all over ourselves, or each other… Disposable pants were provided, not a good look! Once the mud was applied the room was getting steamier and steamier so we could barely see each other. You then use the sea salt as a scrub and before you know it, the showers come on to wash it all away. We emerged squeaky clean and then covered ourselves/each other in the lemongrass oil. Then it was onto the relaxation room for lemon sorbet and a choice of tea. We are still feeling the effects of the treatment, silky smooth skin.
We reluctantly headed back to our room all greased-up and chilled before dinner, watching tv in a bedroom is a huge novelty for me as Ade won’t allow us to have one in our bedroom at home.
For more information on treatments and how to make a booking,
email email@example.com or call on +44 (0) 1483 792 304.
Relish, the main restaurant to the hotel was beautifully designed, and finally some different lights to the usual industrial style that seem to be absolutely everywhere! Lovely little birdies perched on them, the leads creating a telegraph wire effect.
The other restaurant and bar is a Pan-Asian affair called MKB, more bright and dare I say the word – trendy, we didn’t get to eat here but hope to revisit soon.
As soon as we entered Relish headed by Executive Head Chef Steve White, we were totally looked after, the service was swift and excellent. Never before have I known such service in Guildford, it was a welcome change,
I can’t remember the last time I was presented with a selection of bread from a waiter rather than a bowl on the table. It was nice though, there was walnut, sun-dried tomato and olive, all warm and delicious. We noticed there was a good mix of seating from intimate booths to large round tables, there’s also a long chef’s table. Big band music rung out, with a bit of jazz and swing. The restaurant wasn’t very full, so why they sat another (typically Surrey) couple next to us is beyond me. It’s a bit like when you’re on an empty train and someone comes and sits next to you. Luckily they were quite amusing and we ended up comparing menu suggestions, and bank balances… While they were discussing where to move their £10k, we were getting alerts on my phone saying Ade’s sold something on eBay for £10.
The menu is British and full of tempting dishes, for starters I chose Roast quail breast and apple salad with cider vinegar dressing £8, it was just the right amount, although I would’ve liked more quail, why do they have to be such small birds? Ade’s Crab, prawn and avocado salad £8.50 had a lovely crab meat terrine with lightly spiced prawns.
For my main course I chose the Corn fed chicken breast with lemon and thyme pearl barley and a garden herb broth £15, it was exactly how I imagined it would be, which is a good thing. Good hearty, warming broth, plenty of pearl barley and soft comforting flavours. Beautiful. I also had a side of Spinach with chilli and garlic £3.
Ade’s Calves liver with bacon, onion and Irish champ potatoes £15.50 the liver was described as ‘melt in the mouth’, I don’t like liver at all but tried it anyway, it did melt. He remarked that we way they cook the bacon so crisp without it tasting burnt must be witchcraft! The sweet roasted onions were delicious and the capers in the champ potatoes were a nice touch.
Dessert for me was White and dark chocolate mousse with lemon shortbread biscuits £6.50, the biscuits swung it for me, always like a dessert where you get more than one thing. Ade’s childish side couldn’t resist the Steamed chocolate pudding with candy cream £6 (clotted cream topped with popping candy). Like school dinners with added fun, the candy cream and choc pud was a strange combo, but it worked.
We took the remains of our Turner Road Three Rivers, Cabernet Zinfandel California 2008 £19.25 off to the bar area, stuffed and happy, where we met my dad and his girlfriend, who live locally. Raving to them about our meal and insisting they visit soon, we felt guilty they’d only had cheese on toast for dinner at home.
My fussy father doesn’t like ice so he’d asked our fab waitress Roslyn to knock him up something with no ice. She came up with a winner consisting of Baileys, Kahlua and Golshlager topped with five coffee beans, five every time, we counted. It tasted like Christmas and was so good that we all had one, even a group on the next table ordered a couple as my dad was raving about it. We worked our way through the cocktail menu and before we knew it, it was 1.30am!
The next morning we wearily headed to breakfast, leaving our huge comfy bed was an epic effort but breakfast had to be done. It was the usual hotel affair, nothing cooked to order, all pre-cooked and put on the hot counter to be kept warm. There was a good selection of cold breakfasts, meats, cheeses, fruit and yoghurts. Ade had to ask for another coffee rather than be offered one, but all in all, breakfast hit the spot.
Overall, we had a fantastic and memorable stay, as I said at the beginning, it’s fantastic to see a luxury hotel and two great new restaurants in Guildford, I know where we’ll be eating and staying on our next visit…
3 Alexandra Terrace, High Street,
Guildford Surrey GU1 3DA, UK
Telephone: +44 (0) 1483 792 300
Fax: +44 (0) 1483 792 301