Compleat Angler Marlow

The Compleat Angler, Marlow: location, location, location

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The Compleat Angler, Marlow, is proof that some hotels don’t need to have swimming pools, hot tubs and the very latest in beauty treatments – they just need to be in a great spot.

Compleat Angler Marlow
The Compleat Angler, Marlow, is right on the banks of the Thames

And The Compleat Angler, based right on the banks of the River Thames (so close that its gardens, but thankfully not the actual buildings, flooded last year), makes the very most of its superb location. It’s just a stone’s throw from the impressive suspension bridge designed in the 1830s by William Tiernay Clarke (who also built the Szechenyai bridge spanning the Danube in Budapest) and right across the river from the beautiful All Saints’ Church, so that couples getting married in the church can travel in style across the river to their wedding reception while guests follow on foot over the bridge.

The Compleat Angler Marlow
The view from the Compleat Angler takes in the Marlow Bridge and All Saint’s Church across the river

In case you managed to miss the Thames on your way into the hotel, both its Riverside restaurant and its new restaurant Sindhu overlook the river, with  mesmorising views both during the day and in the evening, when the church is lit up against the night sky. Our room, in the newer wing, even had its own balcony overlooking the weir.

Compleat Angler Marlow
Our room with its own balcony (ablaze with sunlight) overlooking the weir
Compleat Angler Marlow
The rather lovely view of the weir from our bedroom balcony

(Incidentally the Compleat Angler, named after the famous fishing book written by Marlow resident Izaak Walton, is officially called  Macdonald Compleat Angler, but thankfully while the corporate name is much in evidence inside the hotel, the building you see as you drive across Marlow bridge is resolutely just the Compleat Angler.)

Compleat Angler Marlow
The Compleat Angler – nothing more, nothing less.

While the hotel has eschewed spa facilities it certainly hasn’t neglected the fine dining option: just a few months ago it opened its new restaurant Sindhu created by Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar and it was there I had lunch.

The ten-course tasting menu for £48 looked good value and so it proved: the food, billed as traditional Indian, was excellent, from the chickpea and yoghurt ‘wheat bubble’ amuse-bouche to the tandoor-grilled rack of lamb, by way of small but tasty dishes of sweet potato, hand-dived scallop, grilled chicken marinated with herbs and saffron cream (that really was delicous).

Compleat Angler Marlow
Sindu’s tasting menu was delicious – all ten courses of it

The meal finished with a flourish and a chocolate mousse ball which opened up dramatically when chocolate sauce was poured over it and the portions were so well-judged that we left feeling replete but not over-full.

Chocolate mousse with passion fruit
Chocolate mousse with passion fruit

Dinner at the Riverside restaurant couldn’t be faulted either: excellent service and good food: starting with smoked salmon mousse (£11), then breast of pheasant (£28) and the only duff point of the meal, a rather tasteless salmon fillet cooked sous vide, (£27) – we shared the mirror-glazed chocolate delice and resolved to stop eating for a while. (Obviously this didn’t last – the breakfasts were too good to resist).

Compleat Angler Marlow
The Riverside restaurant at the Compleat Angler – a lovely setting both day and night

Overall the Compleat Angler – sorry, Macdonald Compleat Angler – was a lovely place to stay and eat: it was charming and relaxed, with several smart lounges where you could sit and watch the world go by (while enjoying rather pricey espressos at £4.20 a shot).

looroll
Even the loo roll makes the most of the Compleat Angler name

Our room was immaculate and very quiet, with the only complaint being the lack of conditioner in the bathroom (you’re given shampoo, shower wash and moisturiser, but no conditioner). The reason from reception was that conditioner was only available ‘on request’. Now I tend to be halfway through a shower before I request conditioner and that’s probably too late. Thankfully they don’t apply that criteria to the loo roll…

Minor gripe aside, it’s a lovely hotel in a lovely setting and worth making tracks for – it was charming enough on a cold February day so I can imagine that sitting outside on the lawn by the river on a summer’s day watching the world go by will really be something.

church

To book a stay at Macdonald Compleat Angler call 0844 879 9128 or visit www.MacdonaldHotels.co.uk/CompleatAngler. A double room for two sharing including full English breakfast is priced from £153 per room per night and river view suites from £350.

On February 13th and 14th Macdonald Compleat Angler is offering a special Valentine’s Tasting Menu priced at £69 per person; double rooms start from £199 B&B for two sharing.

 

 

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Sarah Bridge

Sarah Bridge

Every review is personally researched and written by leisure expert Sarah Bridge who, when she is not writing about leisure for a national newspaper, spends her time seeking out the best leisure experiences, from city centre boutique hotels to country house estates, Michelin-starred dining to the newest openings.
Sarah Bridge
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2 thoughts on “The Compleat Angler, Marlow: location, location, location”

    1. Yes, it’s perfect for that! Less than an hour from London and really relaxing once you’re there. I’m definitely going back in the summer time, would be lovely to sit outside in the warmer weather.

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