Just love it when a new restaurant opens on the block. And one that comes with a reputation. The old White Hart in Stoke Goldington has reopened, and reinvented itself as a Country Pub and Restaurant – The Malting House. Chef, Joe Buckley, previously worked at the Red Lion in East Haddon. A pub that just last year, when he was part of the team, won a prestigious Michelin award, the Bib Gourmand accolade, presented for its exceptional quality food and service. But would the reality live up to the anticipation?
For the first time in as many years as I can remember, I have got through an entire Christmas period without Turkey. It’s not entirely personal. I actually rather like a good cold turkey sandwich on Boxing Day. It’s just that given the choice there is usually something I would prefer. So for Christmas dinner this year, it was roasted Venison. And at our annual foodie Christmas celebration, it was beef. It took place at the Bell and Bear at Emberton and we were a big enough group to warrant our own tasting menu. I gave everybody the choice of turkey or beef – majority vote to rule. The decision was unanimously for beef, so it seems I am not alone in my turkey avoidance strategy. And I have to say, it was a stupendous decision.
Just slightly further afield for this review – to Bedford and a fabulous, tiny Thai, called Rice. With just eight tables and a growing reputation you have to plan ahead to get a reservation. But the tininess works in its favour creating a really warm and buzzy atmosphere. You just know when you walk in that you’re going to have a good time! Continue reading
A superb quote from W C Fields and just goes to remind me that even the best dinner can be improved by a lovely glass of wine. A recent visit to The Bell and Bear at Emberton uncovered a delightful wine menu. Supplied by Bacchus of Olney. EVERY item is available by the glass. Such a good idea. A different wine with every course, no problem. Experiment with something a bit more expensive? No risk. You want white, your other half wants red? No big deal. And better still – a choice of sparklers by the glass! Continue reading
The fourth year of the Big Olney Food Festival and every year it gets that little bit better. It is a spectacular showcase for the fabulous food and drink that our cafes, pubs, restaurants, food suppliers and brewers produce for us all year around. A big improvement this year was the doing away with the pre-purchased food tickets. Just browse the stalls and eat what you like, paying as you go. Simples! Continue reading
Dinner always taste better when you have truly earned it. Like fresh fish & chips after a good day’s work in the garden or treating yourself to Italian Ice Cream after a particularly tough meeting at work. We trekked eight miles one sunny Saturday evening from Olney to try out the food at the Rose & Crown, Yardley Hastings. I suspect it would have tasted just as good without the walk there, but the appetite worked up by fresh air and exercise certainly meant we were ready for a good nosh and we were rewarded with some fabulous food. Continue reading
What do you most like about being a chef?
I love working with fresh ingredients and making good honest food. Mostly I love the adrenaline and pressure of working in a busy restaurant. I get a real buzz when customers give good feedback. Continue reading
One of the irritating things about having a first class pub restaurant right on your doorstep is unless you have a PA or your diary is organised with military precision, it’s impossible to get a table! But now, the superb Bell and Bear at Emberton have introduced a more informal Garden & Bar menu. It’s available throughout the spring and summer (12.30 – 2pm Wed to Sunday lunchtime and 6.30 – 9pm Tuesday to Saturday evening). It is a selection of cold food designed to be eaten in the garden or bar, with a bit of an emphasis on sharing. A few sample items are reproduced to the below. So a stroll around the park, followed by a pretty good ploughmans, sounds like a good summer evening plan! Continue reading