The Reindeer in Long Bennington was taken over by chef James Westwood in October 2018 and has gone from strength to strength under its new ownership. The relaxed atmosphere, friendly professionalism of the staff and exceptional menu are a recipe for success, but what really makes this venue stand out is the attention to detail. For traditionalists there are plenty of pub favourites, while more adventurous diners will find a wealth of new flavours on the specials board.
The team takes great pride in the food they offer and part of this means preparing everything in-house, even baking their own bread. The produce is freshly sourced and they have an ever-increasing network of local suppliers to ensure that they offer only the best. Their interest in seasonal flavours is especially evident on the specials board, where the chef’s creativity is expressed with contemporary flair. You might enjoy crispy squid with spiced chorizo cassoulet and garlic aioli, or pan-seared salmon with creamy potato Dauphinoise, cavolo nero and mustard crème fraîche.
In spring, diners will spot locally foraged ingredients on the menu, from wild berries to edible flowers and herbs. As well as adorning the food menu, these touches can be found on the drinks menu where guests will find the likes of homemade elderflower cordial. The range of tipples on offer is impressively comprehensive, with choices ranging from local craft beer to artisan spirits. You’ll also find an excellent bespoke wine selection, especially designed by Majestic Wine. This interest in wine is of especial note as The Reindeer hosts wine and cheese nights throughout the year, with events focusing on English wine and cheese in addition to flavours from around the globe.
The Reindeer has achieved that rare quality of being universally pleasing. The menus are crafted to cater to everybody, with a wealth of tempting options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diners. The chef creates dishes appeal to every palate, whether it’s teriyaki aubergine stir fry or gluten-free rice pudding with fresh vanilla pods, homemade fruit compote and elegant apple crisps, every dish is a delight for the senses.