Monday, 18 July 2016

Local Eat Treats #37 A Beautiful Evening at The Ragged Cot

The team at The Ragged Cot kindly invited us out for dinner one evening and we arrived, camera in hand, ready to taste our way through the menu.

The Ragged Cot is a beautiful country inn set just off Minchinhampton Common. It’s hard to drive past this place without pulling in for a drink or a bite to eat as it really is quite charming. Countryside cool sums this place up perfectly, with a very relaxed feel both inside and out.

We took our seats in the dining room which looks out onto the beautiful garden - a perfect spot for a drink on a summer’s evening – and read through the menus. The head chef uses lots of local produce, meaning the menus change with the seasons and there’s also a specials board showcasing lots of local and seasonal dishes.

I’m great at making decisions, other than when it comes to food, but after much deliberation, and a recommendation from the waiter, we were finally ready for our order to be taken. I chose my starter of Poached Evesham Asparagus with Local Duck Egg and Hollandaise from the specials board and Kingsley had the Ham Hock Terrine, House Chutney, Dressed Leaf and Toasted Loaf. We were both impressed with the generous portion sizes of the starters. Mine was only missing a hunk of bread to mop up the runny egg yolk and hollandaise sauce – I do hate to leave any food on my plate! Kingsley was feeling kind and offered me a forkful of his ham hock with the house chutney, and I loved it. The chutney had a subtle smokey flavour – I’m guessing from smoked paprika – which worked ever so well.

On to the main course, and Kingsley went all healthy with Whole Pan Fred Sea Bass, Pak Choi, Chilli & Roasted Garlic. The fish was melt-in-the-mouth good and all Kingsley left on his plate was a small pile of bones and roasted garlic! The Pan Fried Supreme of Local Chicken with Spinach, Dauphinoise Potato, Port & Chorizo Reduction was recommended to me and it was clear to see why. I tucked into the dauphinoise potato first of all, the best I’ve ever had I might add. Top marks! I thought the spinach had been forgotten but it was hiding away inside the chicken – which was incredibly juicy. And finally, that port and chorizo reduction was just insane, I could have had a whole jug of it and still wanted more – it was incredible and definitely something I’ll be trying to replicate at home.

With Kingsley feeling all smug and healthy and me feeling, well, quite the opposite, it was time to consider dessert. At this point, Kingsley retreated back to his usual – more unhealthy - ways and ordered the Dark Chocolate Fondant with Artisan Mocha Gelato and I went for the summery option of Lemon Posset with Shortbread. Unfortunately, someone had beaten me to it, and ordered the last one just minutes before, so I too went for chocolate, but in the form of a Dark Chocolate Brownie with Artisan Vanilla Bean Gelato. Kingsley won the dessert contest with his gooey fondant, but we did notice it was missing the mocha gelato we’d been looking forward to trying.

What a wonderful evening in a beautiful setting, and we’ve even got a great excuse to return. They have a rather cool looking coffee shop called The Shed on site which has been added to my list of places to go for a drink and a slice of cake!

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