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The Hand & Flowers may still look and feel like a pub, but no one comes here for a pint these days – in fact the place has two Michelin stars under its belt and operates like a cleverly
reworked restaurant-with-rooms. Co-proprietor Tom Kerridge is a larger-than-life chef with a big personality, a passion for British produce and a refreshingly unpretentious way of doing things. He
has a proper respect for the seasons, too – witness a ‘monumental’ starter of crispy pig’s head with artichoke, pancetta and chickweed or a perky dish of morels, nasturtium and apple. For mains, a
tranche of roast halibut could be teamed with wild mushroom and bacon ragoût, while dazzling desserts generally include ‘the most wonderful soufflés’. Set lunches are good value, service is ‘pubby’
in the best sense, and four fabulous bedrooms are housed in two nearby cottages.
Whenever a restaurant has a sizable waiting list you seem to get one of two experiences; either it blows your mind and is worth the wait or you leave thinking that all the build up and anticipation was really not worth it. The Hand and Flowers refers to itself as a ‘pub restaurant with rooms’ and we had over a 3 month wait for a table and a chef, Tom Kerridge, renowned for cooking food with ‘big flavours’ (in other words, my favourite type of food) who has wowed on each TV appearance; things were stacking certainly stacking up to go one of two ways here...
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