Hibiscus super-chef Claude Bosi and his brother Cédric hit upon a winning formula with The Fox & Grapes, but this handsome new venture is a step up from the original. The pristine dining room and polished bar are testament to the duo’s good taste, combining chunky farmhouse tables with William Morris wallpaper and Victorian-style tiled floors. Chef Marcus McGuinness has moved out of town to Auberge du Lac, but the kitchen is continuing on its merry way, delivering a roster of dishes that are big on flavour. The house burger and Cumbrian bavette steak are top sellers, but the seasonally attuned menu might offer anything from heritage beetroot salad with feta and balsamic vinegar to pan-fried fillet of sea bream with new season’s girolles and peach. The international wine list pleases all pockets and clued-up staff take real pleasure in their work.
Claude Bosi’s second pub world venture (with his brother and partner Cedric) provides a clean, interesting and suitably concise wine list that is tight and easy to follow. Fans of the New World (indeed, anywhere bar France) will feel short-changed, but the wines are still interesting and fairly priced.
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