It was around nine months ago I first heard of the plans for Grace and Savour. It was after dinner in the grounds near Smoke, when we were pulled aside and took for a walk of the gardens as the sun started to fall on a warm spring evening. James walks us to the very top, to a barren space of mud and soil outlines, telling us this will be the third restaurant at Hampton Manor, deliberately positioned within the walled garden to reflect the ethos of soil and earth; of a healthier approach to the body from a healthier approach to the ground. They have the Head Chef in place; he is presently overseas with his wife and family at Norway’s only three starred restaurant. Much of it went over my head with the exception of starred restaurant. I can’t say that I’d given much thought to the soil before.

Fast forward to December and I’m fully on board with the idea. I’d seen the plot develop to the shell of bricks some months back, and that afternoon I’d seen the rooms take shape; each of the bedrooms with living areas looking over the wilded courtyard and in to the kitchen where dinner is prepared and served. The glass is up and that view from the cookery school is perfect. Even now, with little but brassicas and Jerusalem artichokes it cuts a serene landscape, one that I want as a backdrop to the food.

We try David Taylor’s food that very evening as part of a Grace and Savour dinner, each course cut by a little explanation from the chef. The menu is wordy, with great depth for the micro suppliers involved with the restaurant. We would learn the name of the day boat which only catches its intended produce, and details of the Shropshire farm where the carrot course comes from. We would also learn of the struggle to have some of these suppliers on board with the project given the negative experiences they had previously had within the industry.

The style is clinical and scandi, with lengthy processes of fermentation and acidity at the forefront. A brooding broth of often discarded cabbage stems has umami teased-out by a beef garum. Carrot is pickled then roasted with a gel of carrot vinegar. Somewhat unsurprisingly it’s a big whack of carrot that tastes like it was picked out of the ground this morning. I’ve only eaten better carrots at L’Enclume.

The high points are already staggering. The base for a pitch-perfect venison tartare is a nest of fried sourdough starter which tastes like a crouton on steroids. Then the Jerusalem artichokes from the garden; skin deep fried, top tiled with carefully placed discs. There are top notes of apple and vinegar. As far as two bites get, it wouldn’t be out of place in a two star restaurant. Beautiful. So what if I don’t like the muddied broth of the prawn course with kombucha; this is work in progress and the talent is obvious. The seeded sourdough from the bakery is served with a butter that tastes of the grain. It’s a subtle but effective way of bolstering the flavour.

There is poached pollock with the plumpest mussels and pickled pumpkin, followed by wild boar almost gammon-like in flavour and cooked over coals to a dusky pink. With it is cabbage cooked in the fat of the boar, a celeriac purée and a sauce lightly flavoured with roasted cobnuts that adds a darker, almost coffee edge to the dish. We finish with two desserts; first one using up the by-product of neighbouring Berkswell cheese, with caramelised whey and a sorbet of sheep milk joining a plum compote. It’s savoury and acidic and for me the second best dish of the night. Then apples cooked for two months — a period of time twice the length of my first engagement — along with a cake of soaked sourdough, and cobnut ice cream. It’s the only time that the meal feels indulgent and I’m here for that.

The paired wines are as interesting as ever, and the new team show no signs of nerves as they fully take command. We retire for more drinks in the conservatory and awake to a breakfast that further exemplifies the ethos of taking produce at its absolute peak and doing little with it. David is about to serve the food and we discuss the restaurant space. “I’ve really landed on my feet here” he says. We all laugh knowing that Grace and Savour is a win-win for chef and the Midlands alike.

Grace & Savour are now taking bookings.