Yew Tree – Highclere – completely turned around now MPW has gone – hah!

My delightful PA Carole drove me to the Yew Tree at Highclere a couple of weeks ago (I need driving as I have a broken wrist but it doesn’t stop me eating).  First impressions were friendly staff, water with cucumber in it without being asked (always a bonus but double bonus with the cucumber). Lovely country pub decoration, all perfect for a good quality pub out in the wilds. Not too wild though as fairly easy to get to from Newbury. Particularly with a chauffeur.

As regular blog readers will know my opinion of Marco Pierre White is pretty low, I had a miserable time at his restaurant on the Oriana and made quite a fuss about it. He didn’t get back to me and his group didn’t get back to me. Big mistake, I can hold a grudge for longer than a herd of elephants and will continue to be very cross until they sort this. ANYWAY, now that he has nothing to do with this restaurant with rooms it has improved enormously with a lot of other improvements in the pipeline. Sadly the weather wasn’t on our side when we visited but we braved the damp to see all the work going on in the garden. This would be such a great place to come on a hot summers day, particularly on a Thursday when they have fish and fin day, fresh sushi and other fish. One of my choices for dinner was the most wonderful Fruit de Mer for £20! Amazing value and utterly delicious. Lobster, crab, crayfish, prawns, langoustine and rock oysters. Totally wonderful and it came with skinny chips and a very good aioli.   My starter was a very beautiful English asparagus, poached egg and hollandaise sauce. The egg was perfectly poached, the sauce was so tasty and the whole was a great starter.

Bless her Carole didn’t have a starter and had what I thought might be a rather boring main, honey and sesame baked feta cheese, toasted bloomer with an olive and red onion salad with tomatoes (or was it olives) removed on request. This is not the sort of dish I would choose but it was delicious (yes of course I ate hers as well as mine, I am training my wonderful new PA). The nibbles were wonderful,some fantastic cheese straws and bread and the olives that I always order were spot on.

The garden will be beautiful in the sunshine and I cant wait to visit when the fish bar is open. The staff are friendly, they recently raised £8k for charity (I hope West Berkshire Mencap can get on their list) and they are a fixed and delicious part of the local community yet well worth a drive just for the food.

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IMG_3252   A slightly dark picture of me in seafood nirvana

IMG_3254     A very large happy golden retriever

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