The Leather Bottle
Pubs and Bars with Restaurants
It’s important that diners can enjoy top-notch ingredients at affordable prices, and this is exactly where The Leather Bottle in Mattingley excels. The menu is constantly evolving to enable diners to fill their boots without paying over the odds, and, judging by my meal, they’ve definitely succeeded in this regard. My starter of a well-crafted croquette of crispy pork cheek came perched atop a portion of Parma ham cut through with seasonal, tart rhubarb compote. Across from me, my dining companion devoured velvety smooth, powerfully flavoured blue cheese and hazelnut cheesecake balanced with a verdant celery and grape salad, decoratively topped with wine-soaked poached pear slices. Both dishes proved an astonishing start to the meal.
Our main courses had a hard act to follow, but exceptional earthy spinach and red lentil dhal complemented my tandoori-cooked hake for an altogether delightful dish. My dining partner polished off the braised lamb shoulder with Dauphinoise potatoes, tenderstem broccoli and red wine jus, all before a dessert of sticky toffee pudding bathed in glorious golden sauce.
In days gone by, travellers wending their way between Reading and Southampton would stop at this watering hole for sustenance. I’d suggest the modern-day wanderer give it a try too.