The Malt Shovel at Barston is every bit the quintessential countryside pub. Visitors can choose to dine in the relaxed, inviting surroundings of the restaurant, or in the bar area where the open fire and lively atmosphere greet you and ensure that you feel right at home.
We were captivated by the menu, which showcases delicious, playful modern British dishes, many of which have gluten-free alternatives. My starter, a healthy superfood salad of crushed avocado, blueberries, pomegranate, roasted pumpkin, beets, bulgur wheat, chia seeds and a boiled free-range egg was perhaps the best salad I have ever tasted. My partner’s seared scallops, accompanied by chorizo, Jerusalem artichoke purée and Clonakilty black pudding worked perfectly well and not a single morsel was left on the plate. Our mains were just as wonderful – Mediterranean vegetable puff pastry parcel with baba ganoush and feta cheese, and dry-aged rib-eye steak with blue cheese and salted Port butter.
Our meal was perfectly accompanied by Greek white wine. We couldn’t resist ordering dessert, indulging in salted caramel chocolate torte with caramel sauce, and mango and honey cheesecake accompanied by lychee and passion fruit salsa. Every dish was beautifully presented and the passionate team who looked after us, headed by Helen and Max, ensured that our evening was memorable for all the right reasons.