Kingham is a picturesque little village in the Cotswolds complete with village green, chocolate-box-cottages and the most important of all village amenities…a pub, which goes by the name of The Kingham Plough.
In the true spirit of being a ‘proper’ blogger, I clicked onto their website before our visit to do my research (aka perusing the menu whilst hungry and deciding what I will eat) and well, I really, really, really liked what I read.
The Kingham Plough ethos is that provenance is the key to great food and I couldn’t agree more. By the way, for those of you - like me - who google everything, provenance means knowing the origin of something. Everything is cooked from scratch and the menu even comes with a warning for hungry tummies that your main course could take up to 45 minutes to arrive at the table. You see, they have some fancy-pants way of cooking the majority of their meat called sous-vide. This uses a temperature controlled water bath and the heat very gently permeates through the piece of meat cooking it perfectly evenly throughout.
Anyhow, enough of the research, and onto our visit…
The owners, Emily and Miles, have created a very relaxed environment for both drinks and dining, but having driven for the best part of an hour, we skipped the bar and went straight into the dining room to get started on the difficult task of whittling down the choices on the menu. It’s a very concise menu, but when everything sounds so damn good, believe you me, it’s hard to make a decision.
We were served a canapé of Bath Chap which kept the tummy rumbling at bay, followed by Local Cereal Bread with Holmleigh Dairy Butter. But it was when our starters arrived that the ethos of the restaurant really became apparent, and the passion of their dedicated team shone through. I had Patty Pan Squash and Flower served with Home Made Ricotta, Heritage Tomatoes and Daylesford Rocket, which was making its very first appearance on the menu at The Kingham Plough. Kingsley had Home Cured Tamworth Pork Loin with Broad Bean, Radish, Mint & Cornish Early New Potatoes Remoulade. Sylwia served us and talked us through our dishes and the farmers and artisans from whom the ingredients were sourced. That is the sort of service I really value.
For the main event, I chose Packington Chicken Wellington and Kingsley the Hanger Steak. Allow me to start with the steak; it’s served with Bone Marrow Butter, Onion Rings, Triple Cooked Chips and Daylesford Salad Leaves. I managed to get a forkful of steak plus a triple cooked chip! I felt extremely privileged that Kingsley had ‘shared’ with me, but secretly, deep down, I knew it was only because he wanted to try mine too! The steak was incredibly tender, and we both agreed, the best steak we had ever tried. Neither of us usually choose steak as a dish to eat when we’re out, as we are often disappointed, but this one most definitely comes with our seal of approval. As for the chip, I dipped it in their homemade ketchup, shut my eyes and experienced heaven for a few seconds. Lots of places try the whole thrice-cooked thing, but don’t manage to pull it off, not here. Everything they do, they do bloody well. They are like that kid at school that gets top grades in everything, picked for the sports teams, and hangs around with the cool crowd!
As for my Chicken Wellington, look at the pictures, it’s artistry on a plate; served with Asparagus and Roasted Cornish Earlies and Bread Puree. Every element of my dish was perfect: The flavours, the combination of textures and the vibrant colours making it so beautiful I almost didn’t want to spoil it. Yeh right! Being a perfect summer’s evening we both had a cider to accompany our meals, mine being Baynham Court Perry from Barnes & Adams based in Wotton-under-Edge.
For dessert, I instantly felt drawn towards the Elderflower & Goat’s Curd Cheesecake served with Poached Gooseberry and Gooseberry Sorbet and my instincts weren’t wrong. The pink and green hues with delicate elderflowers and an even more delicate but sweet flavour were an ode to British summer time. The goat’s curd put this cheesecake in another league from its counterparts.
Emily is known for her ice cream and so not wanting to miss a trick, Kingsley chose three scoops for his dessert: Crunchy Nut Cornflake, Elderflower & Plum and Chocolate. Let’s just put it this way, I didn’t get a look in, so I gather it lived up to its reputation!
The Kingham Plough is now firmly on our radar for top places to eat out in the Cotswolds. You’d need to save up your pocket money to go there, but for a special occasion it comes highly recommended. I also noticed they do bar food which is kinder on the pocket and so we might just have to visit and try their Homemade Sausage Roll accompanied by their amazing Homemade Ketchup, oh and a portion of the Triple Cooked Chips…just because!