The notes that follow are from a meal in June 2007, under a different head chef.
The menu reflects the traditional setting, and indeed in the case of dessert includes "quaking pudding", a seventeenth century recipe on its short menu. Potted prawns were pleasant and tasted properly of prawns, served with toast (12/20). Rabbit and bacon terrine was very good, a hearty terrine with good flavour and nice texture, served with a few pickled cucumbers (14/20). A tartelette of red pepper, goats cheese and onion had reasonable pastry and a garnish of salad leaves (13/20). The best dish was a fine pork chop using Old Spot pork, cooked very well and having excellent pork flavour. This was resting on a bed of pease pudding, something I have not seen for years, the peas cooked with a ham hock stock and providing a pleasing accompaniment to the pork; (14/20). On the side dish red cabbage was excellent, having I think been made with a little vinegar to give a pleasing sharpness (15/20) while of course Heston’s triple cooked chips are essentially as good as chips get (19/20).
Sherry trifle was another old dish revived, having high quality raspberries, smooth sponge and a nicely judged slug of sherry (15/20). The quaking pudding resembled pannacotta, but with a jelly-like texture and a rather plain, steamed pudding taste (13/20). Coffee is of good quality and comes with a single excellent chocolate truffle for each diner. Service was unusually good for a pub, the service friendly and efficient. This is the sort of "gastropub" that others should aspire to.
Further reviews: 31st Jul 2012