SquareMeal Review of
The Hind's Head
“Slightly more accessible” than the neighbouring Fat Duck, this reconfigured 15th-century coaching inn promises “the quality that you'd expect from Heston Blumenthal, but without the bells and whistles”. Refreshed and dolled up in 2017, the ground-floor dining room retains its ancient pubby feel via reclaimed panelling, rich red leather banquettes and antique beams, while the newly minted ‘Royal Lounge’ upstairs comes draped in quirky Heston-isms including a 3D-printed cockatrice and a blunderbuss chandelier. Food-wise, the old carte has been replaced by three regularly changing set menus named after English queens. The three-course ‘Mary’ version might yield a chicken, leek and ham pie pot pie with mash followed by a ‘quaking pudding’ (cinnamon, nutmeg and compressed apple), although dishes from the four-course ‘Aleyn’ also show customary Blumenthal precision (seared scallops Waldorf with celery, walnut dressing, sea vegetables and dill oil, for example). Elsewhere, the fabled Scotch egg comes with mustard mayo, while other classics such as lapsang souchong-cured salmon also put in an appearance. Service is chirpy and relaxed, and there are some “great G&Ts” alongside the serious wine list. “A place to remember.”
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