This excellent gastro pub has had rave reviews from many quarters, and as well as a relaxing place to enjoy a pint of proper beer, the kitchen has made great efforts to source top-quality food items - with provenance given at regular intervals. They also grow some of the herbs and vegetables in their own garden, as well as producing their own eggs and honey.
A snapshot of an early summer menu brought 'Potted Line-Caught Trout'; 'Terrine of Local Rabbit & free-range Pork with home-made Apple Chutney'; 'Twice-baked Marksbury Cheddar & Spring Onion Soufflé on Henwood-grown Leaves with Toasted Pine Nuts' and 'Char-grilled diver-caught Scallops in Pancetta on Crushed Peas & Mint' listed among the starters.
To be followed by 'Roast Rack of English Spring Lamb with Fennel Gratin & oven-dried Tomatoes'; 'Local Venison Potpie with Real Ale'; 'Seared Turbot Fillet from Brixham on Marsh Samphire, sautéed in Garlic Butter' and 'Char-grilled Sirloin Steak with hand-cut Chips & Béarnaise Sauce'.
If you still have room, you might be tempted by 'Sticky Toffee Pudding with Devonshire Clotted Cream'; 'Dark Belgian Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream'; 'Steamed Apple & Syrup Sponge with Egg Custard' or their selection of farmhouse cheeses.
Before you leave, you can stock up with the aforesaid eggs, from their flock of rare-breed free-range hens. A new development is the production of thir own pork, from rare breed pigs. The meat from these will initially be used in the kitchen, but their own hams might be in the pipeline, if you twist their arms!
- Food Style: Best Pubs for Food
- Lunch: Weds-Sun 12.00-14.30, set L £15 (2 courses), £18 (3 courses)
- Dinner: Tues-Sat 18.30-21.30; mains £14 to £26
- Seats: 25, plus 20 outside
- Wine: a well-thought-out list, travels the world, kicking off at about £17 - don't make the mistake of ordering 'house wine', without reading their list first, although recommended, it's not the cheapest listed!
- Wheelchair access: Yes
- Nearest station: Basingstoke or Tadley
- Directions: See the map at the top of the page
- Parking: Yes
- Closed: D Sun, L Tues, all Mon; check Christmas openings
- Outside eating