Not so long ago, I went for a girls’ lunch at the Old Stocks Inn and raved about their chef at the time, Wayne Sullivan. Well, he moved onto a great opportunity, allowing him to spend more time with his wife and kids, but also leaving a big hole at the Old Stocks Inn. With big shoes to fill, only someone fabulous would do, and they certainly got the right man for the job by recruiting Ian Percival.
We know of Ian as we’ve stayed at The Kings Hotel in Chipping Campden where he worked as head chef and we had a superb meal which you can read about here. Because of this, we were well chuffed to hear he was the newbie at Old Stocks Inn and even more delighted to be invited to try out his new menu.
You may know we are just one month into parenthood, so with a very kind offer from Mum to babysit, we revelled in a bit of time to ourselves without a baby, buggy, changing bag and car seat in tow and made our way over to Stow for lunch.
I have loved the Old Stocks ever since my first visit a couple of years ago and one of the things on my wish list is to spend the night there. Two reasons: Firstly, it’s a beautiful hotel; secondly, I want to work my way through their divine cocktail menu. Anyhow, I digress…
I had the Brunch Burrito at £11 (they serve brunch all day long) which appealed to me out of curiosity. It was kind of like a meeting of the good old full English brekky and the rather more exciting huevos rancheros. My burrito was filled with Merguez sausage, avocado, beans and scrambled egg with pico de gallo and sour cream on the side. And, because I’m greedy, I also ordered some chilli & lime fries (£3) – which were lush mind! Who’d have thought that a full English breakfast works in a burrito?! Trust me, it really does. It most definitely requires the flavours the Mexican twist brings, but this really is an exciting dish.
Kingsley’s ordered the buttermilk chicken (£14) was basically a posh KFC in that it was deep-fried chicken served with slaw and fries, but that’s where the similarities end. There is no comparison in taste (and looks) between this plate of amazingness and the bucketful of mass produced chicken served with limp fries and a pot of crappy coleslaw. Ian’s buttermilk chicken was something else, ever so lightly coated in a crispy shell with a smoky flavour and beautifully moist chicken served with an aioli dipping sauce. He was extra greedy too and ordered a side of onion rings (£3).
Now, we couldn’t drive all of that way and not take advantage of the dessert menu; I chose dark chocolate tart with passionfruit and a cocoa tuille (£6.50) and Kingsley had the Parma Violet (£6.50) which is a violet panna cotta with blueberries. Wow, that panna cotta was a proper party in the mouth with every taste bringing hints of nostalgia. I just can’t resist a pud with chocolate in the title and although I wasn’t convinced of the combination of passionfruit and chocolate on the menu, on the plate the bitterness of the chocolate and the sweetness of the passionfruit worked so well together.
Ian, a huge welcome to your new role, it suits you very well indeed. We will hopefully eat with you again when we manage to get our act together enough to organise that boozy night away!
Have you been lucky enough to eat, drink or stay at Old Stocks Inn?