The Plough Inn

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Square Meal Review of The Plough Inn ?

Regulars at this lovely Test Valley village pub are still cheering the arrival of James Durrant (former executive chef at London’s Michelin-starred Maze) and his ex-Maze front-of-house partner, Janet Cage. Wisely, he has ditched Mayfair flashiness for something simpler – although his dishes are fine-tuned and conjured from tip-top seasonal produce: pan-fried bream is accompanied by Jersey royals, baby squid, samphire and squid vinaigrette, while braised shoulder of lamb might be served with onion purée, red onions and a salt-marsh mutton shepherd’s pie. Desserts such as hot chocolate fondant with salted caramel ice cream shouldn’t be overlooked, either. A light lunch menu and kid’s roster add to the appeal, while cask-conditioned ales and well-chosen wines keep up appearances without pretension. As for the pub itself, the remodelled 18th-century inn is full of rustic charms and contemporary flourishes, with a genuinely warm, friendly vibe.

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