Things To Do

Hattie Lloyd 16/05/24

Feast on Cloud 9

Sure, some quirky dining experiences just sound like a load of hot air.

But this is no puff piece: Feast on Cloud 9 genuinely delivers on all fronts. Because aside from the fact that you’ll be seated in the comfort of your very own hot air balloon, the elegant nine-course menu you’ll be feasting on is impressive in its own right, too.

Of course, you won’t actually be going into the air at any point – that would make the waiters’ jobs particularly taxing, for one thing – but that’s by the by when you’re moored up in the stunning grounds of a 5* hotel, overlooking a tranquil water feature, and surrounded by a dozen other gently glowing balloons…

feast on cloud 9

After a stellar summer last year, they’re back in action from May to September, and you can book in for either afternoon tea or a nine course tasting menu. And while they could probably just serve up beans on toast and it would still feel special, they’re really pushing the, er, gondola out.

feast on cloud 9 afternoon tea

First, you’ll be brought a welcome drink and a couple of snacks as you settle into your wicker basket, complete with sandbags and speed dials. Then a parade of dishes will follow, most of which make use of ingredients grown in the hotel’s own kitchen garden. Highlights on the menu include a roast aubergine fillet with truffle mashed potato and wild mushrooms; a spinach, courgette & goats cheese pithivier; and Rossini-style fillet of beef, with truffle mash, chicken liver parfait, and a liberal drizzle of truffle jus.

everyman at the grove

And as for that 5* hotel? It’s called The Grove, and while it’s only a 15 minute cab from Watford Junction, it feels like you’re miles away from anywhere else, set in 300 acres of shimmering long grass. The balloons are anchored on the fringes of the hotel’s formal gardens, which are a particularly pleasant spot for a post-meal stroll. And if you plump for the afternoon tea here, you could time it really well and stroll right along to The Grove’s walled garden, where an Everyman outdoor cinema will be popping up for the summer. They’ve got a load of classic flicks and recent releases lined up on the slate, which you’ll be able to enjoy on comfy beanbags with woolly blankets, popcorn, pick ‘n’ mix, and cocktails from the pop-up bar.

So don’t be surprised if you feel a little Foggy the next day…


NOTE: Feast on Cloud 9 runs at The Grove from 25th May – 1st September 2024. Balloons are available for groups of 4-6, and are priced at £65pp for the afternoon tea, and £125pp for dinner. You can find out more, and book, HERE. You can also see what’s on the slate at the Everyman cinema, and book tickets, HERE.

Feast on Cloud 9 | The Grove, Chandler’s Cross, Hertfordshire WD3 4TG

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Feast on Cloud 9

The Grove, Chandler’s Cross, Hertfordshire, WD3 4TG