The picturesque village of Goring-on-Thames has been home to The Catherine Wheel for over 350 years. Roaring open fireplaces and ageing wooden beams give the venue ounces of olde-worlde charm, and walls lined with local memorabilia tell the story of days gone by. Add this to a charming garden, a 16th-century barn and English roses, and you’ve got a West Berkshire alehouse that must be visited.
Local businesswomen, Michelle Brachet (world award-winning food and drink writer), Katrena Derricourt-Gibson and Vanessa Cooke positively jumped at the opportunity to run their own venue. With their charming and established staff, the team is rising admirably to the task. Starting with a smoked salmon and home-pickled beetroot and cucumber dish, I was struck by the attention that had gone into pairing each element. My husband chose the chilled pea with raspberry soup – a surprising combination that worked beautifully, the subtle complexity of flavours catching us off guard. The same attentive treatment was applied to the mains, with the highlight proving to be a tender seared tuna steak served on a bed of courgette ribbons, pomegranate seeds and edamame beans.
Michelle, Katrena and Vanessa have hit upon a winning formula here, with a combination of invention and pragmatism, which makes for a unique experience – we can’t recommend this pub highly enough.