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Pitchside Restaurant

I wasn’t that sure what to expect when we arrived at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel to review the Pitchside Restaurant. You cannot fault the setting; the hotel is incorporated into the simply stunning stadiumMK complex which is home to the Milton Keynes Dons football team. You head inside the main lobby of the hotel and head to the lifts to go up to the second floor for the restaurant.

Now, I was thinking, hotel restaurant – probably not much atmosphere and maybe a lot of business people sat around in suits reading papers and looking at their Blackberries – but I was pleasantly surprised as we walked through the very swish bar area and into the restaurant. There were a number of couples looking lovingly at each other over their glasses of wine and two quite large family groups with young children sitting in high chairs. Not what I was expecting.

The restaurant is reasonably new so the decor and furniture is trendy without be too pretentious. What is really impressive is the view. They didn’t name it ‘Pitchside’ for nothing. We sat in a seat right next to the huge window which runs the whole length of the restaurant and gives you a complete view of the football pitch and the stadium seating that surrounds it. Not a view you can get in most restaurants in the UK let alone just in Milton Keynes.

After ordering drinks, we looked at the menu. I was expecting a reasonably limited choice but was again surprised by the range of different starters and main courses which included pizza. We opted for a Capri Salad, which had lovely fresh tomatoes and creamy, rich mozzarella and was drizzled with one of the nicest dressings I’ve ever had. Our second starter was Baked Sardines, again really well presented and they tasted delicious.

As I mentioned the choice of mains was vast, but we chose a Rack of Pork in a mustard sauce and Duck Breast in a rich fruity sauce and served with seasonal broad beans and peas. Both were really good sized portions and the taste was really warming and lovely. We then had a decision to make – did we have room for dessert? Of course we did...

Again the choice was really good, my partner going for the Trio of Rum Babas; vanilla and rum, lemon and lime, and orange and ginger. When they arrived I nearly regretted my choice for a split second, but then the waitress put down in front of me my Doubletree Cookie Crumble complete with vanilla custard...I never looked back. The dessert was simply one of the best I have ever tasted. For those of you who don’t know, all Doubletree hotels give guests a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie upon arrival (they even have special cookie ovens in reception) and they are simply divine. Basically these cookies are used as the crumble topping, with apple and pear underneath...you just have to try it to believe it.

Now well and truly full, we couldn’t even manage a coffee afterwards, but that didn’t matter a bit. We left surprised and very satisfied. With a great atmosphere and good menu choice we’ll definitely be back to sample more that this restaurant has to offer.

Facilities:

Children’s menu
Good value children’s menu available.

Disabled facilities
Restaurant has a lift with the hotel and disabled toilets are available.

Parking
Parking for the hotel and restaurant is free of charge.