Last night I was invited to the soft launch of The Woodford, to experience their sophisticated and elegant dining experience. The food was a feast for your eyes and a treat for your taste buds.
Talented Chef Ben Murphy makes his mark at The Woodford as he heads up his kitchen team together with William Yarney who looks after the management of the restaurant. Ben at the young age of 24 has already gained many accolades being Pierre Koffmann’s protégé, former Young National Chef of the Year 2012, WorldSkills 2011 gold medal winner, three-Michelin-star familiar and star of the BBC’s Chefs on Trial show. William has also proven his talent having worked at The Berkeley, W Hotel and Shangri La at The Shard before taking up the Restaurant Manager role and partnering with Ben to open The Woodford.
The whole experience was an absolute delight from the warm welcome received on arrival, having pre dinner drinks at the bar through to being seated in the restaurant. The Woodford is on two levels with the main Champagne and Oyster bar being upstairs. Downstairs as well as the main dining area, there is also private dining and a chefs table available.
Having been seated in one of the booths in the restaurant, Sous Chef William (another William) presented an amuse bouche to get the culinary experience started. The food itself was as expected, an explosion of flavours on the plate which were excellently presented. Below shows just a selection of what was eaten during my meal….
The service was five star, with attentive staff who were polite and professional throughout. Even a request that was not on the menu was catered for without fuss. Many of the team that Ben and William have put together have been trained at Westminster Kingsway College, and it was also lovely to meet James again who was trained at the Edge Hotel School. I had met James previously when I have held Masterclasses at the Hotel School.
Ben, William and their team at The Woodford are to be congratulated on their new restaurant and I wish them every success with it. Ben is hoping to achieve his first Michelin Star, and I look forward to hearing about that achievement in the future.
The Woodford officially opens on 23rd February 2016.