Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Lifestyle Post: The Hand And Flowers

Hi Everyone,

A few weeks ago I had an amazing treat when my boyfriend took me to The Hand And Flowers pub in Marlow. I've been meaning to do a post on this ever since as the food was absolutely divine! For those of you that haven't heard of it, The Hand And Flowers is a pub owned and run by Tom Kerridge, a two Michelin-Starred chef who regularly appears on programmes like Masterchef and Great British Menu. His restaurant is tucked away in Marlow, a town about an hour out of London, and serves posh pub-style food with a bit of a twist. Sorry to those of you that maybe aren't interested in my lifestyle posts, but I'm afraid I'm going to bore you all with the details of my delicious meal! This sort of posh nosh is not exactly a regular occurrence in our household and I was really spoilt rotten, so please forgive my gushing!

Sadly it was absolutely chucking it down on the day we went to Marlow. We were staying overnight in the nearby Crowne Plaza hotel and had to take our car down to the restaurant and walk back to collect it in the morning. The Hand And Flowers looks very quaint and cottage-like from the outside and when we stepped in, soaking wet, it felt a bit like we'd come in through a back door. The restaurant itself is small but has a nice feel to it: lots of big, wooden tables, low ceilings and a warm, bustling atmosphere. We were seated really quickly having booked up in advance (you need to book quite far ahead, especially on a weekend!) and the waiter brought us some delicious fresh breads with lovely, salty butter and deep-fried whitebait with a Marie-Rose sauce. I'd not had this before but the whitebait was really lovely and worked well as a snack- it's a small fish that tastes quite smoky and salty, almost like mackerel.

The starter I'm afraid I didn't photograph as I was nervous of looking too 'touristy'. I had the Salt Cod Scotch Egg with Red Pepper Sauce and Chorizo. It was absolutely delicious. The egg inside had a soft, runny yoke and the sweet, red pepper sauce worked really well with the other flavours on the plate. I would definitely recommend it although my boyfriend had the Blowtorched Scallop in a Beef and Mead Bouillon (broth), which he said was amazing as well.

Now, onto the main course! I chose the Slow Cooked Duck Breast with peas, duck fat chips and gravy. This was a dish that featured on the Great British Menu 2010 and I was not disappointed. The duck as you can see was beautifully cooked and covered in a sweet, sticky glaze. The peas were served with mint and pancetta and the chips were just to die for! All in all it was a delicious plate of food. Sorry for the low quality photos- it was pretty dark in the restaurant and I only used my phone. Hopefully you can get an idea of the food though and what it was like.

My Duck Dish

Finally we just about had room for dessert. After so much rich food I went for the Sweet Malt Gateau with Malted Milk Ice-cream, Yeast Tuile and Creme Fraiche which wouldn't normally be my first choice, but sounded like it wouldn't be too heavy on my already very full stomach. It looked really pretty when it came out and when all the elements were combined it tasted almost like sticky toffee pudding. Individually I wasn't so sure- the malt gateau reminded me slightly of a Soreen malt loaf, although the ice-cream was very nice.

Tim (my boyfriend) went for a Raspberry and Rosewater Souffle with Caramelised White Chocolate Ice-cream and Basil Sauce. I have to say that this was a better choice by far- it looked so impressive when it came out! We weren't 100% sure how to eat it- whether to pour the sauce over the top or just dip? In the end he just poured it and although the basil taste did slightly overpower the other elements of the dish in my opinion it was still a nice dessert.

Sweet Malt Gateau
Amazing Souffle!
Overall we really enjoyed our trip to The Hand And Flowers and I would love to go back. Although the food isn't cheap, there is a lot of choice and it has a lovely, buzzing atmosphere that a lot of high end restaurants seem to lack. It was a wonderful evening out of London and I would recommend it to anyone that is a fan of that style of food. If the A La Carte menu is not for you there is also a really reasonable Set Lunch Menu which I've heard is really good too and about £20 for 3 courses.

Details of the restaurant and accommodation here (they have a limited number of boutique rooms available at The Hand And Flowers itself which looked beautiful!), A La Carte Menu here and Set Menu here.

Rosie x

1 comment:

  1. Wow, the food looks lovely! If I'm ever near the area, I'll be sure to give them a visit! x
    The Jolly Fashionista