We had the day off work and were feeling a little delicate for we had been seeing Jay-Z and Kanye West the previous evening. We’d had far too much gin and juice whilst waving our arms in the a-ir like we just didn’t ca-re. We cared a bit more in the morning, as we’d made a reservation at The Pipe & Glass Inn, Michelin’s pub of the year, which was a two hour drive away. Luckily for me, I wasn’t driving and so put my seat back and relaxed my eyes which are far too old these day to be hip hop hooraying. All was going well until we hit the M62. What kind of blasted nonsense is an average speed checker?? This infuriated me and made us late. The M62 is now my arch enemy. I rang to apologise and they were very good about it. We eventually arrived after driving down the longest country road in history, at the end of which I was sure lay our planned kidnap, torture and murder (I’ve watched too many dodgy horror films). Thankfully, I was wrong; there was actually a tiny little village down there, not our impending doom.
There’s a convenient car park opposite. The restaurant looks lovely.
The reception area feels like you’re in somebody’s lounge. Comfy couches and nice cushions with ducks on. I already felt at home.
The menu was full of delicious sounding dishes. There was also a generous specials board. (I was drinking lemonade due to my hangover, which was proving a stubborn bugger.)
What really impressed me was the wine list, which was split into sections, so a wine novice could choose their wine based on what they were eating. Beautifully illustrated with pictures of animals, of which I was considering eating at that point. A wave of guilt passed over me. Should I become a vegetarian? No. I stand by the theory that if God wanted us to be vegetarians, he wouldn’t have made animals out of meat.
After we’d ordered our food and finished our non-alcoholic beverages, we were led to the dining room where we tucked into some tasty soft bread, with salty butter.
To start I went for the ham hock and guinea fowl ballotine. As the plate was placed in front of me, I felt a little disturbed. We’d recently watched the 2006 Nicolas Cage remake of The Wicker Man. This reminded me of one of the final scenes of the film. Nicolas was the scampi fritter, being offered up as sacrifice by the strange pease pudding and pea shoot people. I put him out of his misery by biting his head off. The ballotine was great, really rich and full of deep meaty flavour. Nicolas (the scampi fritter) was freshly out of the pan, tender on the inside with a brilliant crisp outside. The pease pudding had a great texture, I’d not tried this before but I’m a big fan. A wonderful dish, amusingly presented.
Hubby had a special of crab salad, which was light and fresh with a beautiful delicate flavour, served with a zingy salad, creamy dressing and decadent parmesan crisp.
For my main, I couldn’t resist the roast rump of lamb. When it arrived, I knew I’d made the right decision. The lamb was succulent and rich, served on a mass of spring vegetables and tender pearl barley all smothered in super sweet nettle and mint gravy. The best bit was the deep fried mutton belly, which had my eyes rolling in my head like they’d come out of their sockets.
Hubby again opted for a special. He picked the sea trout which was served on a massive nest of samphire topped with a very tasty garlic and morel sauce. It came with a side of jersey royals which were crushed with fresh spring herbs. Delightful.
I’m a bit of a veggie fiend and so ordered a side of green veg which were drenched in walnut butter. I’m so glad I did, they were brilliant.
It’s always important in a Michelin starred restaurant to visit the facilities to check they’re up to scratch. These most certainly were, and worthy of noting, was the lovely wooden chair in the corner. This reminded me very much of Tree Beard form one of my favourite books/films Lord of The Rings. I checked there was nobody else in the room and waited for it to strike up a conversation. Unfortunately, I didn’t inspire him to speak out. Perhaps he was disapproving of my hangover or sensed that I used to peel the bark off a tree in my front garden as a child. I left with my head hanging in shame.
We were both stuffed, but the dessert list is one of the most impressive I’ve seen. There was only one choice for me though, sticky toffee pudding.
This came with a little tiny glass full of stout. I ignored my hangover and had a good glug. I like using tiny glasses. It makes me feel like Hagrid from Harry Potter ‘You’re a wizard hubby’ I wanted to exclaim in my best accent. Impressions, however, aren’t my strongest point. So I just did an accentuated cheers gesture instead. The pudding was gorgeous. Light and fluffy with great depth of toffee. Served with stout ice-cream and walnut brittle. I had to scrape the plate clean.
Hubby had the pistachio and raspberry Bakewell tart. Rich, warm and gooey served with my childhood favourite, raspberry ripple ice-cream. This was awesome.
Service worked as it should, but it was a little bit impersonal and it’s a little more expensive than your usual pub grub, but it does have a Michelin star after all.
The Pipe & Glass Inn was brilliant. The food was all delicious and quirky and made a great trip out. It reminded me very much of The Star Inn, another favourite of mine. But it is a very long way to go in an average speed zone. If we were to go again, I would definitely stay over.