SquareMeal Review of
Set among pine forests and trickling brooks, this long-time gastronomic beacon on the edge of the bucolic Wye Valley now serves a real taste of its surroundings. Mixing delicate French technique with super-premium Welsh produce, Raymond Blanc protégé Chris Harrod also employs a full-time forager to provide pickings for his kitchen. These wild things now form a vital component for his distinctive cooking: Wye Valley asparagus might be paired with hogweed, maritime pine, hedgerow pickings and Tintern mead, while ‘estuary findings’ garland a dish of day-boat turbot, smoked roe and Jersey royals. Elsewhere, pine nuts, violet artichokes, charred onion tops and nasturtium are the chosen embellishments for a plate of Huntsham Farm sucking pig. Desserts also get the treatment, as in Tregothnan Estate honey mousse with malt, lemon verbena and stout caramel. The set lunch is a bargain, while warm courteous service is a given – whatever the occasion. There’s also an impressive wine list to peruse, or you can try Chris’s own pine-infused gin – perfect if you’re staying over (breakfast is a humdinger, we’re told).