Rumoured to be England’s oldest inn, The Porch House was everything you’d expect from a traditional Cotswold pub, with rustic décor and a roaring log fire.
My partner and I were seated by the log burner which was delightfully cosy, and though the restaurant filled up through the evening, it never felt noisy or crowded. The staff were friendly and attentive, but nonintrusive, and you’d feel just as comfortable dressed up for dinner as you would in a jumper and walking boots, in this stylish yet homely pub.
For starters, I opted for scallops of the day, which were served with a beetroot puree and chive hollandaise, while my vegetarian partner chose the winter stewed tomato tart.
The plump scallops were perfectly cooked, their sweetness complimented by the earthiness of the beetroot. The richness of the chive hollandaise made this dish feel especially indulgent.
The presentation of the tomato tart was particularly creative. Served deconstructed, shards of crisp pastry were carefully placed onto a generous portion of tomatoes cooked in white balsamic vinegar, charred lettuce and feta.
Onto main courses, the vegetarian options were limited, but more than made up for it in flavour and presentation, with the rich, creamy butternut squash and goat’s cheese risotto with crispy sage stealing the show.
The king prawn and chorizo linguine was delicious too. The smoky flavour from the chorizo permeated the whole dish, while the lemon and olive oil dressing added a zesty freshness.
Despite being more than satisfied with a starter and a main course each, after a look at the dessert menu we just had to have a pudding. Although my personal favourite Crème Brulee wasn’t available that evening, the lure of sticky toffee pudding was more than I could resist. It was satisfyingly rich and sweet, but not sickly.
My partner’s chocolate delice was a real showstopper. Surprisingly light, but with the deep, rich flavour of dark chocolate, served with ice cream, chocolate soil, raspberry coulis and fresh strawberry for a variety of textures and tastes.
While The Porch House has all the rustic charm of a traditional Cotswold pub, the stylish and delicious food wouldn’t feel out of place in a fancy city restaurant. Plus, with 13 bespoke bedrooms, including family- and dog-friendly rooms, it makes a great base for exploring the local Cotswold area.
For more information, see The Porch House or call (01451) 870048 to book a table.
By Chloe Gorman
Friday 13 March 2020
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