Restaurant Review: The Anchor Inn

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Carole Hamilton discovers a little gem of a hostelry that’s almost too good to share…

Nestled in a quiet road outside the pretty village of Lower Froyle in Hampshire this is what Great British pubs are all about. Roaring fire. Tick. Beamed ceiling. Tick. Great local beer. Tick. And some pretty decent cooking. Tick.

Part of The Epicurean Collection you come along expecting to find a menu that goes beyond the usual pub grub. And The Anchor doesn’t disappoint. The head chef and his team turn out dishes with an emphasis on local, seasonal produce. The outcome is good, honest food done exceptionally well.

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The duck terrine with rhubarb chutney served with crisp toast (£8) was packed with flavour and the mackerel with pomegranate and pear relish (£6.50) was a picture on a plate and equally tasty.

Mains range from traditional favourites, such as beer battered haddock with triple cooked chips (£15) to a deliciously pink pheasant breast wrapped in bacon with tortellini (£15) and a beetroot quinoa with parmesan and ginger apple (£13.50) that could have been dull but actually packed a real punch of full-on flavour.

Desserts are definite crowd-pleasers with a fig bakewell, baked peaches and a banana cheesecake all topping the list for our next visit. But since we had some rather good Malbec still to drink, we opted for the cheese plate (£10) and sampled four excellent local cheeses enhanced with a dollop of tangy homemade chutney.

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If you fancy making a weekend of it, or imbibe a little too much over lunch there are several cosy bedrooms tucked away upstairs that provide a warm welcome.

P.S. The walls are adorned with numerous period artefacts and pictures all chosen by Martin Miller of Miller’s Antiques fame.

Where: Lower Froyle Alton, Hants GU34 4NA Reservations: To make a booking, click here or phone 01420 23261.

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