By Denis Sheehan MIH
As you enter Foxhills it’s immediately apparent you are somewhere special, a sense of community pervades. This golf resort, hotel, and country club is a social hub that on arrival promises much, so we spent a few days there to find out if it delivers.
First assignment, golf. My playing partner for the day is Oliver Smith, National Sales Director at TWO Services and a proficient golfer as his 6 handicap confirms. We approached the first tee on the Longcross course, one of three at the resort. A Stewart greeted us, confirmed our tee time as 10.06, we stepped up, and set off around the picturesque course.
The course is meticulously manicured, the fairways are narrow requiring accuracy to have any chance of achieving par, the greens are carpet like and fast. As we made our way around the Longcross course we discovered it rewarded bold golf. Go for it was order of the day, and we did.
Half way around we visited the halfway house and took 5 minutes out to enjoy a sausage roll and a coffee. The sausage rolls are made in the resort kitchens by the pastry chefs, if you visit Foxhills these are a must. And service at the halfway house is delivered with a smile, as you can see below, thank you.
When we arrived at the signature 16th risk and reward was personified. The recently completed gem of a par 3 was redesigned by European Golf Design who also redesigned the nearby West Course at Wentworth.
A large pond sits to the right of the 16th green, and a new bunker built on the left, with the flag 201 yards from the yellow tees. With some trepidation I stepped up, 3 iron in hand and being bold, swung, hit, and hoped. The ball miraculously dropped on the green 10 feet from the flag, the golf gods were being kind.
As we walked off the course, we both agreed to come back again soon, it is one of the most enjoyable courses I have ever played, Oliver agreed. We both over the years have played many courses, the fact that Foxhills makes most Top 100 golf course lists is no surprise.
After a burger and a drink in the club house terrace bathed in the beautiful Surrey afternoon sun Oliver left for home and I went to meet my wife in our hotel room, or to be more accurate, hotel suite.
The suite is a very generous size, the bed divinely comfortable, the furniture and décor easy on the eye, and the bathroom compliments the suite perfectly. Tick.
We went for dinner in The Fox Dining Rooms, located in the heart of the 19th-century Manor House. The Manor House is quintessentially English, the restaurant is not. It transports you east via a huge mural depicting ornately dressed elephants, horses, and riders traversing a surreal panorama.
To start I had smoked pigeon breast with blackberry, compressed radicchio, and parsnip purée. It was well balanced, which is difficult to achieve with pigeon, the parsnip was a joy. For main course I selected braised beef short rib with maitake, rosti, and caramelised artichoke purée. The beef was just right, tender and tasty, the rosti was generous, crispy on the outside, smooth on the inside, the caramelised artichoke purée like the parsnip was a delight. The best however was yet to come, although I must confess, I have always loved rhubarb.
For dessert I ordered poached rhubarb, white chocolate soil, Thai basil cress. The presentation was a picture, the taste experience, even for a rhubarb fan was exquisite, the rhubarb was sharp, the chocolate decadent, and the Thai basil cress gave the dish extra zest. Three courses, three big ticks.
Breakfast in the morning was also in The Fox Dining Rooms. I opted for scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, served with freshly brewed coffee, simply delicious, it was a fitting way to end our visit.
As we left, we agreed Foxhills had wholeheartedly delivered and animatedly discussed our next visit.
Thank you to the whole team at Foxhills for a hugely enjoyable stay.