Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Lamb Inn, Hindon

It is wedding season. I've reached that age where I am entirely able to identify with Hugh Grant in 'Four Weddings and a Funeral'. Everyone I know (with the notable exception of yours truly) seems to be heading down the aisle. Fortunately, I love a good wedding. Everything from the mad dash to some far flung corner of the muddy countryside to the uncertainty about the selected B&B. I love a good rendition of 'Bread of Heaven' in the church, admiring the dashing men (all married, of course) in their morning suits, shedding a tear at the arrival of the bride, the endless Champagne, the speeches, the hopefulness of the table plan (perhaps it'll be the man of my dreams...? ''Oh, Great Uncle Geoffrey. How lovely to meet you.'') and the dancing. Oh. I love the dancing.

One of the great attractions of weddings is the chance to spend a weekend in some part of the country previously unexplored. It is terrible that one should need an 'excuse' for a mini-break in one's own fair nation, but this sadly seems to be the case these busy days. So, this weekend, I headed through the floods to the Dorset/Wiltshire border for the wedding of a very dear friend (super wedding, by the way, in case she is reading). I stayed at a rather dodgy B&B nearby (think lots of lace doilies and strange ornaments). I was hoping that following this trip I would be reporting on a wonderful meal at The Museum Inn near Blandford Forum. Sadly not. We tried. We failed. The chef stormed off in a huff and refused to cook our meal due to the late hour (despite being promised it would be fine and the orders taken!). To be fair, the staff couldn't have been more apologetic and produced a good 'cold plate' and lots of free wine. I shall be back for a second attempt.

However, I can be very complimentary about the excellent Lamb Inn in Hindon. Sunday was unsurprisingly a somewhat hungover affair. The sort of day where everything is hysterically funny. Kicked out of the B&B at 10.30am, we headed off in search of amusement and sustenance. First stop: 'Home Farm Shop', a cracking farm shop selling all sorts of culinary deliciousness from organic meats and vegetables to wonderful chutneys, cakes, spices and freshly-laid eggs.
We stocked up on various goodies, had a chat with the resident Bantams...
...and managed to resist the cute little tea-room, 'Abigail's Kitchen'...
...and headed onwards, towards Longleat Safari Park (yes, we really were in quite a silly mood).

Driving in convoy, I was slightly alarmed when the leading car veered off the Longleat road to some village called Hindon. Why were we going there? As we pulled up in the very charming high street, it all became clear. The Lamb Inn. Of course. The Lamb, according to the blurb, began trading as a public house as early as the 12th century. Today it is owned and run by the Boisdale group, responsible for the two excellent Scottish-style restaurants in Belgravia and The City. The Belgravia establishment renowned for its jazz and cigars.

The Lamb is dark and heavy to tartan. A glance at the bar reveals that this is a place that takes its whisky seriously. Hair of dog, anyone? Pale faces take on a definite green tinge. Lime and sodas, all round then. Lots of fireplaces - this is definitely more of a winter place rather than summer.

Our request to sit outside is met with some surprise. It is a rather chilly day for July, but we are clearly in need of fresh air and are prepared to brave it. The menu arrives. Such joy. It all sounds delicious in a comforting, undemanding sort of way. Roasts dominate the Sunday menu - we just know that the meat will be a serious cut above the average.

My loin of pork arrives - one smell and my mouth is watering. The meat is sliced thinly and fairly well-cooked (some might say over-cooked, but it was still moist and the flavour was superb). Mustardy mash was perfectly flavoured and the accompanying cabbage came with bits of smoky bacon. The wonderful gravy was divine.

Roast beef had great flavour too and came with the most enormous Yorkshire puddings ever.

This was great, delicious British food at its very best. Cooked simply, the quality ingredients sung out. No need to fancy presentation or artistry. It simply smelt and tasted divine.

The best surprise was the bill. Admittedly, we stuck to those lime and sodas and we didn't have any extras. But the bill was £30 for three. Just the ticket. Those accompanying me will be disappointed if I don't say this one more time: 'it was great value for money'.

We headed to Longleat fully satisfied. Hangovers long forgotten.

The Lamb Inn, Hindon, Wiltshire SP36DP
Tel - 01747b 820 573

Home Farm Shop, Tarrant Gunville, Near Blandford Forum, Dorset

1 comment:

wmw said...

Hi there! Greetings from Malaysia, hopped over from the Faces Food Bloggers group. I've just join the group...