The Perch and Pike
Pubs and Bars with Restaurants
With the Ridgeway Trail crossing its doorstep, this friendly pub with its enticing garden offers an opportunity for walkers and sightseers to quench their thirst and join the locals for a hearty lunch or dinner. Whether passing through or opting for a bed for the night, the warm and cheery atmosphere provides a congenial welcome. Deep red walls adorned with fish illustrations and family artwork, polished wooden floors and an open fireplace echo this overriding feeling of comfort.
Owner Neil, wife Val and mother Joan each play their own part in the running of The Perch and Pike. The place is suffused with a strong sense of family unity, with Neil in the bar pulling pints of locally brewed Brakspear real ales, Joan entertaining guests with a challenging game of scrabble and Val, along with chef Rob, cooking up contemporary yet unpretentious British flavours in the kitchen.
With a commitment to fresh, local ingredients and homemade food, there was no questioning the quality of the menu. I started with a perfectly presented bowl of pan-fried mushrooms in a creamy bacon and Stilton sauce, served atop a basket of lettuce, whilst my companion devoured asparagus and crab mayonnaise bruschetta, topped with streaky bacon and accompanied by fresh, warm bread. The mains were bountiful and exquisitely cooked. The braised pork belly on apple mash with onion gravy and the pan-fried minted lamb on garlic and herb mash were both tender and tantalising, served with an equally good selection of seasonal al dente vegetables. The blackboard dessert menu offered favourites such as bread-and-butter pudding and homemade apple and raspberry crumble with custard. The latter, together with a mouth-watering lemon cheesecake and ice cream, made a delightful end to the evening and strengthened our resolve to return and indulge again.