The Thatched Tavern
This pretty 15th-century tavern exudes olde-worlde charm, with low-beamed ceilings, flagstone flooring and plenty of nooks and crannies. In the chilly months the real log fires make it super cosy and the whole pub is suffused with the delicious smell of mulled wine. For warmer weather there’s ample space outside, with a pretty leafy garden, sheltered patio and an attractive decking area.
A warm welcome from attentive staff, coupled with a friendly, relaxed atmosphere has much to do with The Thatched Tavern’s appeal, as does the varied menu and wine list. I was delighted to find a range of fish courses available, and chose the Cornish crab, chilli, garlic and chervil linguine, which had all the trademarks of a future classic. If you want to try something a little different, the Scottish smoked salmon with beetroot, potato pancake, lemon balm and watercress sounds incredibly tempting. My companion opted for the soft duck Scotch egg with creamed peas, lettuce and bacon, which was perfectly runny and did not disappoint. For my main course, I chose a juicy 8oz Surrey Farm rib-eye steak which was served alongside a bountiful portion of crispy triple-cooked chips, mushrooms, tomato and a rich peppercorn sauce, while my companion plumped for the succulent roasted haunch of venison. Both were delicious and cooked with precision. For dessert, a beautifully presented creamy lemon posset went down a treat, as did the sumptuous triple chocolate brownie, which my companion told me was the best she’d ever tasted.
For those seeking a quick bite to eat, The Thatched Tavern has a bar menu full of delights. The meat and cheeseboards are perfect for sharing with friends over a lazy lunch, as are the small plates which include the likes of deep-fried whitebait with tartare sauce, cauliflower and sumac salad, chicken wings covered in Jack Daniels barbecue sauce and Welsh rarebit. Feeling rather spoilt and pleasantly full after our meal, we concluded that we must visit again soon.