As we pass a serene pond, this gorgeous 17th-century building is lit as if in a fairytale by the light from a multitude of flickering lanterns. Antony and Jay Worrall Thompson’s The Greyhound is their own distinctive vision of a country pub, where chandeliers are watched by a giant teddy bear hugging old beams. It’s these playful touches that make this relaxing pub so unique, particularly as it reveals itself to be a foodie paradise.
Located in the historic village of Rotherfi eld Peppard near Henley-on-Thames, The Greyhound proposes an inventive and extensive menu that changes frequently and produce is locally sourced where possible. Radiant Jay’s nurturing attitude to diners makes this a place to linger and love – she clearly enjoys welcoming guests to the venue and explains that they created a pub that they would like to frequent themselves.
As for the food, think excitement for the palate with the likes of my starter of prawns prepared three ways: tempura, pickled and with avocado. Meanwhile my companion opted for rich and flavoursome duck parfait. The posh fish and chips was pure perfection: Dover sole goujons and crisp, indulgent full-fat chips, with buttered greens that were exceedingly good. My companion was impressed by the build your own steak option: wagyu steak cooked to your preference with truffle oil and Parmesan chips, plus a French-inspired side dish of beans and bacon.
The restaurant was brimming, with many loyal locals, families and couples poring over the menu. Many opted as I did for the dessert tasting plate, comprising an exemplary crème brûlée, which cracked satisfyingly and yielded sweet custardy treats beneath delicious shards of toffee. Clearly Antony is a chef who loves both culinary adventure and perfected classic dishes, never using anything but the finest ingredients. It takes experience and confidence to achieve alchemy of the standard found in Antony’s kitchen.
The Greyhound manages to be both fun in its charming presentation and serious about food. That might be a tricky combination for some, but it’s what the Worrall Thompsons do best.