The Dew Pond, Old Burghclere – Rabbit Land

Oh this was exciting.  A trip to The Dew Pond, a fantastic restaurant in Old Burghclere which is virtually Watership Down. It was too dark to see any but I felt comforted just knowing that they were around in huge numbers. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love rabbits, I have a rabbit onesie hanging in my office which I wear disconcertingly often. Luckily rabbit wasnt on the menu.

IMG_1136Above you can see the olives, delightfully moreish light crispy cheese straws, and pistachios. What a great idea pistachios are as you can fiddle with them while you chat, it is a bit like eating mussels, you feel you are working for the food and burning calories at the same time.

IMG_1137Rebecca, my dining companion and driver, looking forward to the meal though possibly not looking quite as enthusiastic that I was going to eat all her food as well, whilst also taking photos.

IMG_1138Crab three ways. A brown crab bisque which had a strong taste of fresh crab, a Cornish crab and avocado tower with white meat piled onto chunks of avocado, very pretty. Also a deliciously light crab cake with an amazing crunch sitting on a salsa.

IMG_1139Risotto of wild mushrooms, Jerusalem artichokes, parmesan and truffle oil. This was flavoursome and full of Unami, that rich fifth flavour that makes you want more. Mushrooms perfectly cooked, risotto creamy and delicious.

IMG_1140Breast of Creedy Carver duck with braised red cabbage, butternut puree, fondant potato and Cassis. The duck was moist without being fatty, the red cabbage cut through the richness of the duck perfectly and the fondant potato was delicious, it is truly my favourite potato. Cooked in butter and stock until it was fluffy inside and had a crispy outside. This was meant to be Rebecca’s main course and I did let her have some, honestly. This was her first time of having duck so I thought it honorable of me to educate her slowly thus I was in fact doing her a favour by eating her food. What a good egg I am.

IMG_1141Oh piggy delightfulness. Suckling pig belly, tenderloin and black pudding, baby leeks, purple sprouting broccoli, creamed potato, granny smith puree and calvados. Seriously wonderful. The black pudding was very good (or I wouldn’t have eaten it) and came from Lancashire, a place that is expert in making such culinary delights. The pig was just fabulous, juicy and moist with a very thin layer of suckling pig crackling. I even let Rebecca have a sliver of the crackling, less than a fingernails worth but she got the idea. Again I am a good egg.

IMG_1142This was Rebecca’s dessert, caramelised lemon tart, meringue and a raspberry sorbet. It was actually orgasmic. Naturally for the sake of research I had to try some and managed to pinch all the caramel off the top in one attempt, go Leila! Lemony, fluffy wonderfulness.

IMG_1143This was my dessert which was a banana and caramel parfait, peanut ice cream and kalamansi puree. There was also a tuile in my icecream like a little sail and the icecream was perched on a bed of cubed bananas. I particularly liked the little pieces of caramel in the parfait. The surprise was the kalamansi which I hadn’t had before but was citrussy and went well with the really good peanut icecream. I had thought I wouldnt like peanut icecream but it was great, all in all a good combination.

IMG_1144This is Keith Marshall, the owner/chef who runs The Dew Pond with his wife Julie (who works front of house). He loves what he does and it shows. As always, passion will out and I would go as far as saying he also is a jolly good egg. For £36 you can get the most amazing meal in a restaurant that has won many awards and for good reason. Go and try it, you wont regret it.

We didn’t pay for our food and these opinions are my own.


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