Four courses – then time for a fifth!

(July 2018)

HAVING been named England’s Leading Resort at The World Travel Awards for three consecutive years, The Belfry Hotel in Sutton Coldfield has developed a name for excellence in the hospitality industry.

Its name and reputation are renowned in golfing circles – and indeed the headquarters of The Professional Golfers’ Association are located there. The Belfry has hosted the Ryder Cup on four occasions as well as numerous European Tour events and it is easy to see why the resort has maintained its position amongst Europe’s elite.

But if you’re not a golfer, don’t rule it out as a destination experience. This four-star hotel exudes quality and sophistication from the moment you arrive.

Alas however, I shall have to report back on the accommodation and facilities some other time. Our recent visit was more one of a culinary nature. So it was with wide eyes and high expectations that we ventured to our table in the hotel’s aptly named Ryder Grill, which boasts two AA Rosettes.

Sunday lunch was on the menu – and we immediately knew we were in for a treat if the all you can eat food selection tasted as delicious as it looked laid out there on the serving bar.

Before hitting the carvery though we were invited to help ourselves from a wide selection of hot and cold starters, ranging from soup of the day to charcuterie, salad and pasta.

The challenge here was resisting the temptation to pile up our plates, remembering the sneak peek we’d caught of the tasty delights still to come.

There were three meats to choose from on the day – turkey, beef and what I can only describe as the most mouthwatering mustard-infused and sweet tasting gammon joint that had ever passed my lips.

We then selected from the wide selection of accompaniments, including roast and boiled potatoes, carrots, broccoli, peas and cauliflower cheese. And not forgetting crispy Yorkshire puddings almost the size of hats!

Again, the trick was to rein ourselves in because we had also caught glimpse of the tempting desserts table just a few strides away from us.

Cheesecakes, brownies, Eton Mess, apple crumble cake and fresh fruit were just some of the options.

But, for the younger diners, there was also a welcome selection of ice creams – plus a help yourself table of chocolate buttons and cookies – also nice as accompaniments to an end of meal hot drink.

For me The Ryder Grill has certainly succeeded in striking the right balance when it comes to offering a service that’s both sophisticated and family friendly. The desirable décor and ambience, coupled with a popular vibe, make this restaurant a winner in our books. And we will definitely be returning.

It is worth noting The Ryder Grill restaurant has also launched a new Tasting Menu Series running until December.

Recently appointed Head Chef, Ryan Swift is bringing fresh culinary flair with a selection of sumptuous six-course menus, all packed with the finest seasonal produce.

But you need to be on the ball to catch one of these events as they’re only held once every three months. To investigate the October event visit: https://www.thebelfry.co.uk/restaurants-bars/ryder-grill

Surrounded by over 550 acres of countryside, The Belfry is synonymous with golfing excellence.

Now it was time for our fifth ‘course’ of the day . . so it was on to the Ryder Legends Mini Golf Course!

Modelled on famous Ryder Cup moments over the years, The Belfry has a special place in the competition’s history, with some unforgettable moments – from Sam Torrance’s winning putt on the 18th green in 1985 that won the cup for Europe for the first time in 28 years, to Paul McGinley’s 10 foot winning putt in 2002.

Here you can experience 12 holes of competitive fun through a miniature version of some of these most iconic holes.

It was just the tonic to help walk off our dinner, on a hot day, but certainly more challenging than most miniature golf courses I’ve traversed (and I’ve traversed a few!) Great fun though and now we can proudly boast of our Ryder Cup golfing prowess alongside the very best. . . well, sort of!

Our fleeting visit to The Belfry was thoroughly enjoyable and left us wondering why this was only our first.

It certainly won’t be our last.

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