(3 star hotel)
including 8 days parking
from the airport
A restaurant that's close to perfect
The Kemal Restaurant at the Cambridge hotel at Gatwick, in the dining room, is where all meals are taken. Its light and airy, freshly decorated, with Corinthian pillars, comfortable leather dining chairs, chandeliers and wooden flooring. French windows open out onto a terrace that can be used on warm evenings.
There is a portrait of the Duke of Cambridge himself on the wall; a corpulent looking man with with the hungry gaze of a voluptuary. Appropriately, he appears to be the sort of chap who could make short work of a six-course meal, and wash it down with copious amounts of claret and Madeira wine.
Kemal at the Cambridge Restaurant
- Weekday breakfast: 6am to 8.45am
The Kemal at the Cambridge Restaurant
Kemal himself supervises the cooking. With his business partner, he took on the hotel five years ago and they completely refurbished it. It had been run down and had seen better days, he told us. Plastic flowers in the rooms, and milk bottles on the tables. Just a dump. Now, after a substantial £1.5 million pounds refit, the Cambridge is fresh and cared for again. And not a milk bottle to be seen.
Breakfast - Breakfast (6am to 8.45am) is a fairly straightforward affair, again taken in the Kemal Restaurant. Cereals and juices are lined up on the bar and very attentive service from Sahan the waiter ensured that there was no waiting for the tomato and scrambled eggs that we ordered from him.
English breakfast choices included sausages, bacon, tomatoes, poached or scrambled eggs, and mushrooms. There was as much fresh coffee or tea as you might need, and two rounds of toast brought immediately to the table on sitting down. A peaceful and calm start to the day in elegant surroundings; one could not ask for much else.
Dinner - Kemal offers plenty of choice for dinner with an international menu. For starters deep fried cheese and mussels on the shell were tempting amongst the line-up, but in the end we plumped for avocado Mediterranean, a light, tasty and generous dish of prawns, feta cheese salad and olives.
For wine, we chose Arcano Italian Pinot Grigio, a delicate blend of apricot and peaches flavours with a bit of bite. It was a good match for the prawns and also fort the main course, for which we chose the Chicken Navarrais: chicken breast with mushrooms and tomato puree in Madeira sauce.
Again, there was plenty to choose for our main. Lamb cutlets; vegetarian wellington roasted vegetables in puff pastry and Cambridge salad, consisting of grilled lemon-marinated salmon with parmesan in Mediterranean dressing, all looked good.
Of course, Kemal being from Turkey, there are plenty of special dishes from that country in which he takes particular pride. For those with a hearty appetite, the Dokuldu Kebab is probably going to hit the spot sliced lamb with onion and peas wrapped in puff pastry served with Pekmez: grape molasses sauce.
Kemal at the Cambridge Restaurant
- Dinner: 6pm to 10.30pm
Snacks and other dining options
If you arrive too late for dinner (times are 6pm to 10.30pm) you can have a special snack just by asking at reception, Kemal told us. The Cambridge hotel is only too used to guests arriving at an ungodly hour tea or coffee and cereals can be whipped up by the night staff.