Driving up the long curved path up to The Grove always feels like a treat, and none more so than on last Friday evening when I was invited to try the hotel’s newly refurbished restaurant.

The Glasshouse reopened in May with a new food hall-style concept. A team of chefs cook in front of diners at eight live food stations, each with a different theme, and guests can pick and choose whatever they want to eat.

The polite and friendly staff welcomed us into the restaurant, a high-ceilinged space decorated in warm tones and lined on one side with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the garden terrace. The restaurant is light and airy, yet cosy at the same time, and this is only enhanced when a member of staff lights the giant fire pit out on the terrace as it starts to get dark.

After we order drinks, our waiter helpfully explains how the restaurant works, and then we are set free amongst the food stations to create our own dinner.

The choice is overwhelming. I pick up a plate with the intention of beginning at the centre island, where starters including sushi, soup, salad, hummus and various types of bread are on offer, but I can’t help taking a quick glance at the other stations as well. This, I found, was a smart move, as The Glasshouse is a restaurant that requires you to plan ahead. Go in unprepared, and you’ll end up with a confused plate of bits and pieces that don’t go together.

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I started with the salmon, which was beautifully cooked, with a side of long-stem broccoli, tomatoes, bread and hummus. You could taste the freshness of the ingredients with each mouthful and the care with which each dish had been prepared.

I then returned for a main of beef steak, hasselback potato and carrots. The portions of meat are quite small, allowing you a taste of the different meats available at the robata grill station – including grilled fish and roast chicken – without feeling greedy. The steak was one of the best things I ate that evening, with a smoky barbecue flavour and tender texture.

I couldn’t resist going back one more time to try something from the tandoor oven. The fiery chicken was spicy and warming and complemented beautifully by a soothing yoghurt dip, and the curried fish was charred and tasty.

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If I had one complaint, it would be that much of the food was lukewarm. This was compounded by the fact that many of the diners, myself included, would put something on a plate, and then wander around looking for something to accompany it, so that by the time I returned to my table the food has cooled.

However, where this food hall concept comes into its own is with the dessert station. First choose your flavour of ice cream – the raspberry ripple and blueberry flavours are both heavenly – and request your number of scoops from the waiting member of staff. Then turn to the selection of toppings, which include marshmallows and jelly babies, or if you really want to satiate your sweet tooth, look no further than the free-flowing chocolate tap. If you’re a little more health conscious, there are large bowls of fresh fruit for you to help yourself, plus a selection of mini desserts in glass jars. There was also a large red velvet cake, a fruit tart decorated with edible flowers, and vegan brownies. Kids especially will love it, and the young-at-heart will appreciate the chance to let their creativity run wild.

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The food at The Glasshouse is delicious and you can tell the expert care that has gone into preparing each of the choices on offer. At £49 for weekday dinner and £62 for dinner Fridays to Saturdays, it’s certainly not cheap, but there’s no doubt you get your money’s worth. There’s no limit to the amount of times you can return to the food stations and the attentive staff are quick to whisk away empty plates, leaving you free to go back for more.

The Glasshouse is open for breakfast (7am-10.30am), lunch (12.30pm-2pm) and dinner (6pm-9.30pm), as well as afternoon tea in The Glasshouse Bar (1.30pm-4.30pm). Lunch starts at £42 per person, with dinner from £49 per person. For more information and to book visit www.thegrove.co.uk or call 01923 296010.