Yay, the new menu is up and the lunch menu includes the pork scratchings with apple sauce, almost a meal in itself (if you are not me), whipped goats’ cheese with black olive, beetroot and balsamic. Also Pigeon with tobacco, watercress and spelt, foie gras with pistachio and granny smith and chicken liver parfait with peas, malt, and Sauternes. This last one is a visual treat so I will dig around for a photo as I didn’t have it this time in the beautiful format. Those were just the starters. Mains included pork belly with a sage mash, spring vegetable risotto with a crispy duck egg and truffle honey, roasted bream with sea veg and lobster sauce , fillet of Bucklebury venison with all things red as well as a good old steak with all the trimmings.
My dining partner, Alex, was a joy to eat with because she shared her delightful chilli duck salad with me (the duck was rare with a crispy skin and a scrummy salad) and also had a sharing plate to herself, just my sort of gal! I had two sharing plates, the Ploughmans which included the world famous truffled ‘ham egg and chips’ scotch egg with a gooey yolk, better off eaten on a plate rather than in the car which I did the first one (have I said that I don’t do delayed gratification in any way, gratify me now I say) and ended up a very eggy mess. Also on the platter was a meaty chunky ham hock terrine, Barkham Blue cheese, country bread and chicken liver parfait and dressed salad leaves.
The second sharing platter (which I didn’t share as Alex had her own) was the Trawlermans. It came with smoked salmon, the most wonderful mackerel that has now spoilt me for any other mackerel I might eat, crispy squid that had a bit of a kick to it but was tender and not rubbery, a delicious herb mayo, citrus salad and toast.
This is a real community pub that also happens to serve excellent food. It is always a delight to eat there and Tony appreciates the local beer they serve, both West Berkshire Brewery and Two Cocks amongst others. Dogs are welcome, there is a very welcoming atmosphere and they serve water and butter (one of my bugbears if this doesn’t happen)