The Packhorse looks and feels like a rambling country house, and its cosy rooms are filled with the comfortable chatter of its many guests. The rapport that the staff have with customers is refreshing in these busy modern times.
If you enjoy dining al fresco, there’s seating for up to 120 people in the immaculate garden, which overlooks open countryside. This formed the perfect setting for my starter of roasted baby aubergine filled with smoked crème fraîche and tomato crumb. My wife’s leek and potato soup was creamy and light in texture, and was also full of flavour. Both of the mains were works of art. The pan-fried pork escalope with a lemon and thyme crumb was cooked perfectly and accompanied by pasta tagliatelle and wilted spinach. My partner’s smoked haddock and salmon fishcakes looked and tasted great, arriving atop a bed of tomato and spring onion salad. It would have been wrong to leave without sampling the desserts. The strawberry, vanilla cream and meringue Eton Mess was remarkable, and the vanilla cheesecake with its orange sorbet accompaniment was absolutely beautiful, so we had to share both.
This CAMRA Pub of the Season has over 100 different gins to discover, as well as a great range of ale.