Double Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar is making his first venture into modern British gastronomy – in a set of historic Elizabethan buildings in Amersham. With just 50 seats, Hawkyns – named after William Hawkyns of the East India Company – will highlight the best of British cuisine, offering inventive takes on classics such as fish and chips, served here with a pea purée.
Kochhar, known for his fine Indian fare at Tamarind and Benares in London, will be joined in the kitchen by Ross Bott, former head chef at One Canada Square in Canary Wharf, who will oversee new menus focused on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. Dishes will include scallops with a leek terrine and ebène caviar dressing, as well as tamarind duck salt-baked in celeriac and yoghurt. Appealing drinks pairings include everything from Chiltern Hills Malt Ale with the fish and chips to Piquepoul Moelleux from Languedoc alongside Kochhar’s toasted marshmallow and rhubarb ice cream pudding.
A la carte offerings are equally imaginative. Standouts among the starters (from £8) are pearl barley risotto with Jerusalem artichokes, Driftwood goat’s cheese with a baked beetroot and miso dressing, and blowtorched mackerel. Main courses (from £16) include barbecued guinea fowl with chestnut and truffle, and, for Sunday lunch, Loch Duart soy salmon with seaweed dashi; while fill-your-own doughnuts and an apple tarte tatin with Earl Grey ice cream all make for decadent desserts (from £7).
Hawkyns is situated in the country-chic Crown Inn, which boasts 38 Ilse Crawford-appointed rooms – the perfect after-dinner treat. Those in the 16th-century part of the inn start from £145 per night, while a Courtyard Suite with a four-poster bed and roll-top bath costs from £250.