Coombeshead Farm is a working farm, hotel and restaurant from Tom Adams (Pitt Cue fame) and April Bloomfield (Spotted Pig in NYC fame) and it’s rather beautiful. The main house is surrounded by muddy fields filled with pigs and sheep.
The restaurant is in a separate outhouse which consists of a small and cosy dining room and open kitchen. It’s a truly stunning space.
They offer a set menu at Â£45 a head which is cracking value. It’s the sort of food that showcases the finest quality ingredients and they’re cooked with minimal fuss. Montgomery Cheddar gougeres are light enough to rival Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester.
Their bread is so good London restaurants like Pastaio and Holborn Dining Room have started serving it. It might seem like a long journey for a bit of bread but this stuff is quite special. It comes with Guernsey butter.
‘Speckwurst’ is thinly sliced ribbons of pure pig fat. The flavour is intense and goes great with the bread. Again, with fat being the star of the show, Rowan glazed ham is incredible. It’s 80% fat but soft and sticky and not at all sickly.
Devilled Maylor prawns are teeny and can be eaten whole we’re told although I’m not convinced I enjoy the texture. By the time I’ve deshelled them there’s very little prawn to eat. It’s the only dish we’re indifferent about.
Porthilly mussels come in a whey sauce so special I would drink it by the pint-load. The mussels are so soft and delicate. A small disc of venison sausage topped with elderberry ketchup is rich and gamey.
The main event, a reminder of the terrific value, is a Dexter rib of beef. The meat is slightly more cooked than I’d have liked but the flavour is something else. And the fat, oh the fat.
It comes with dripping potatoes, huge and crisp but not floury, grilled onion with horseradish and mustard leaves.
Desserts finish things on a high. A sea buckthorn posset is the right balance of painfully sharp and refreshing; a true palate cleanser. Apple tarte tatin doesn’t mess about. The pastry is thin, buttery and flakey. There are bits so chewy the flavour still lingers to this day.
‘Ã†bleskiver’ are little pancake puffs inspired by one of the Danish servers. I hope someone starts selling them in London – they’ll be a hit.
Sadly our trip to Coombeshead Farm was just for lunch but a meal that good has ensured we’ll return for a night’s stay. What they’re doing at that place is very special indeed.
Would we go back? Yes.