|The Fishpool Inn|
The Fishpool Inn is owned by the Nelson hotels group who also own the Pheasant at Higher Burwardsley another favourite of ours.
Now much larger than the original pub, the Fishpool Inn has undergone a 2.9 million pound extension / refurbished and it's truly stunning ! You can look at the gallery HERE
The interior is a real talking point, and not unlike some Kenyan safari lodges we have stayed in whilst on holiday.
Split between many different spacious areas and some cosy little snugs.
Seating made from beer barrels, antler horns, and cosy banquets. Walls are adorned with Animal heads, riding paraphernalia and quirky ornaments. There's even an upturned boat under a glass ceiling.
We sat at the end of the bar and ordered a couple of drinks. I fancied some pork scratchings
but was told they had run out, on seeing our disappointment the manager told us he would see if the kitchen could give us some pork crackling, and this is what he produced ! Now that's staff who go the extra mile ! and on the basis of that and the fact the place looked fantastic we promptly booked a table for the following evening.
The atmosphere was loud and buzzing but in a good way, staff were attentive and friendly.
And if I'm honest we didn't notice any lapse in service at all.
Our seat in front of a cosy range fire
For starter I ordered Crispy duck fritter, with smoked duck and poached gooseberries, sticky orange syrup.
The smoked duck was cold which I didn't expect but the duck fritter was really good, shredded bread crumbed and deep fried, but the hot and cold thing worked well together the way cold ham and hot mashed potatoes or warm boiled egg on a salad nicoise do, the poached gooseberries adding a little sweet and sour element, I loved it .
Tiger prawn pil pil, Tiger prawns cooked in olive oil, garlic, fresh chilli with torn basil leaves, garlic bread.
Came served in it's on little pan. I was told it was devine , prawns where plump and juicy with one to peel yourself so you could get your hands in there, sauce was packed full of flavour and the garlic bread was great to mop it all up.
After tasting the crackling the night before it seemed only right I should taste the pork it was from, so I ordered from the Inka charcoal oven.
Slow cooked belly of pork, sliced rhubarb compote, sage and onion creamed potato, creamed English peas, red wine and port reduction.I swapped my mash for gratin potatoes.
What a lovely plate of food this was, the pork was meltingly tender and plenty of it, crackling was great. Nice even colour, no burned bits to spoil it, creamed peas were dotted with little nuggets of bacon which gave a nice saltiness , the potato gratin was perfectly cooked and the red wine and port reduction was deep and rich and brought the whole thing together nicely . The one thing missing from this dish was the rhubarb compote ? it wasn't on the dish at all , that said I hadn't noticed till I got home and re-looked at the menu so no harm done I suppose.
Also from the Inka charcoal oven my partner ordered the Roast breast of corn fed chicken, summer vegetable panache , gratin potatoes, Alsace bacon, button mushroom and shallot sauce.
The chicken was cooked to perfection still nice and juicy, vegetables nice and tender with just the right amount of bite. great gratin potatoes. The sauce was raved about, the shallots came through and had a lovely sweetness to it.
I was really full after the meal but I was encouraged by the waitress to have dessert, not one to really have to have my arm twisted I opted for baked banoffee cheesecake with honeycomb ice cream.
The cheesecake was nice but a little dry but all that sauce and ice cream helped to balance it out. I couldn't finish this but only because I was stuffed to the hilt . My partner opted for a mixture of sorbet and ice cream which she loved.
All the ice creams and sorbets served here are local from the Cheshire ice cream farm which we know very well .
All in all we had a fantastic night and one we will definitely return to and a place we would recommend.