Formidable husband-and-wife team David and Tina Cheng – a Cordon Bleu-trained head chef and a delightful host, respectively – have successfully transformed The Chequers into a haven of fine food and drink. This picturesque public house in the village of Orwell, just a few miles from Cambridge, has a snug, comfortable feel and is full of rustic charm.
The menu is devised from a mixture of well-done pub classics and carefully constructed modern dishes. They know how to do the simple things well – David’s succulent steak and fries and delicious Sunday roasts come highly recommended – but the more adventurous options are extra special. Imaginative starters include Parmesan custard with chorizo jam and toasted bread, and sous-vide salmon with pickled root vegetable and horseradish cream. To follow, perhaps try the chicken leg ballotine with vegetable fricassee and pommes mousseline, or pan-seared sea bass with herb gnocchi, spring pea stew and braised baby gem (these dishes are examples only, as the menu changes with the seasons). Whatever you choose, rest assured that everything is freshly prepared on-site using local produce whenever possible.
When it comes to dessert, prepare to be impressed – David is also a trained patissier. The ever-changing selection of beautifully crafted puddings might include melt-in-the-middle chocolate fondant alongside a choice of weekly changing specials. Presentation is always immaculate – attention to detail and culinary artistry shine through in every dish.