Mike Robinson is set to open The Woodsman in boutique Hotel Indigo Stratford-upon-Avon, a fully restored building dating back as far as 1500.
As executive chef, Robinson will be working alongside head chef Jon Coates to bring his ‘field to fork’ approach to the new restaurant, which will champion British produce and sustainable wild food
The restaurant will feature a large wood-fired oven and charcoal grill as a focal point, on which meats such as British deer, wild boar, beef and Hebridean lamb will be cooked. Fish will be sourced from Cornish fisheries and herbs will be grown in the kitchen garden. There will also be a tapestried feasting room complete with a long central table and butchers’ blocks for whole carcasses to be served in front of guests.
It will also house an on-site butchery.
Signature dishes will include Cotswold fallow deer pavé and ‘suet pudding’ peppercorn sauce; slow-cooked and glazed shoulder of roe deer, Vicars smoked bacon, caramelised turnips and black pudding with smoked bone marrow. All deer will be sourced from Robinson’s venison business, Robinson Wild Foods.
Sunday lunches will have a feasting focus, with sharing dishes including Yorkshire puddings filled with braised meat and onions and ‘dirty’ mash, a mixture of mashed potato, braised oxtail, lardons, crisp onions and English truffle.
“I wanted to design a menu and service style that creates an atmosphere I would want to experience myself,” says head chef Jon Coates. “I’m excited to return to a traditional, rustic style of cooking that creates hearty dishes that bring people together.”
Robinson and Coates will also oversee The Falcon, the hotel’s original tearoom complete with Shakespearean wood panelling, oak beams dating back to 1621 and traditional brick fireplaces. Set to open in April it will serve a selection of sweet and savoury treats paired with a range of champagnes by day and offer a seasonally rotating cocktail list in the evenings.