T Cooks had a few bad reviews from people I trust here on Chowhound, but they also apparently have a new chef, so who knows how it is now, but we decided not to risk it for a special meal. Some other friends went to Elements at Sanctuary and I have not heard their report yet.
After much thought, We ended up going to Talavera and had a pretty good meal. Some dishes were outstanding while others were fine but not that inspired or amazing. The hits were the truffled parsnip cream soup amuse with a slice of grilled cheese on rye and the veal medalions over a lobster ravioli with some kind of orange/lobster sauce and finely diced squash. Great flavors here, the squash were a bit underdone, but were tiny so not really a problem. I had the Christmas goose and it was very tasty. The skin was not as crispy as described by the waitress and the brussels sprouts were badly undercooked. The Calvados reduction was delicious, as was the winter stuffing and braised cabbage. I had a Ken Wright pinot noir that was stunningly delicious and that put me in a more forgiving mood for the shortcomings in the food. (A flute of Sharfenburger Brut to start went well with the amuse and the cold seafood course, which as tuna tartare, poached shrimp and a seared scallop with grapefruit, enoki mushrooms and baby radishes, nothing outstanding). Dessert was a rather ordinary ginger bread cake with a delicious cardamom cream cheese frosting and too stingy drizzle of "egg nog" (creme anglaise with nutmeg).
The service was excellent and very professional and overall I thought the experience was above average for a holiday meal when many places don't shine their best. It is a nice setting up in Troon and we enjoyed getting out of town just a bit.
Too late, as we were in London, but hope that you found the ideal place to dine.
I was probably one of the posters, who had less than stellar dining at T. Cook's, a favorite of ours. Still, when almost everything goes wrong, on a simple weekend, no Holiday involved, one does take notice.
I do hear that changes have been made, and my fingers are X'ed, that all is nice now. Until we dine there, we will not know.
Happy New Year!