Located on a picturesque walking route in the quaint hamlet of Ayot Green, this 17th-century coaching inn oozes character. Its beauty extends inside, and this discreetly French establishment serves a menu that is clearly the subject of much care and attention.
We opted for the popular five-course weekly tasting menu, which features dishes from the à la carte menu for the excellent-value price of £30, or £44 with wine pairings. We were treated to a delicious white crab and golden beetroot amuse-bouche, which demonstrated a delicate harmony of colours and flavours, followed by an entrée of pan fried tiger prawns and crayfi sh with tomato tartare and parsley. The dish was exceptional and we could easily have indulged in fi ve courses of entrées alone. On reflection, that wouldn’t have been such a great idea as we would have missed out on the velvety smooth seared rump of beef, accompanied by glazed kidney, wild mushrooms and thyme jus.
For dessert, I succumbed to the cheese selection – in this case a fragrant and creamy Livarot with toasted seeds. My partner opted for the chocolate fondant with caramel ice cream, toasted hazelnuts and plum, which was accompanied by a light apple delice with Chantilly and Calvados dressing. Easily accessed from the A1 yet tucked away from the busy road, The Waggoners offers gourmet food in a relaxed atmosphere with fabulous service. Try it – you can always walk off your meal afterwards.