Muddy eats: The Old Thatched Inn, Adstock
One of the reasons I love writing Muddy is because of the pub reviews. Not because I’m piggy (though clearly I am a total cochon), but because it’s so useful knowing the very best pubs in an area. We all have those days when we’re trying to work out where to meet a friend halfway for a girly lunch, or the kids are playing sport and you need a decent feeding spot, or even – yeah, bugger it – you don’t want to cook Sunday lunch for a change.
Well, you can add The Old Thatched Inn to your Muddy-endorsed pubs list. This lovely 16th century building – a thatched inn, unsurprisingly – is in the small, well-heeled village Adstock, a few miles south of Buckingham. It’s the kind of pub that goes big on its flowers – even a few weeks back extravagant hanging baskets still festooned the front and poked through the wooden trellises down the small patio area down the right side of the pub.
It has a very good local reputation in an area not massively blessed for brilliant pubs – I’d been recommended it by several people. A true local in the sense that there is a decent bar with inglenook fire at the front, actually the thrust of this place is its gastro credentials.
It’s almost restauranty in the sense that when you come in to take your table you’re shown to some large, comfy sofas to look at your menu and have a drink, and then you’re taken through to eat.
The decor has had some tweaks over the last few years – new tables and chairs in the main eating areas in an inoffensive contemporary style – but the fabric of the building is its most attractive feature, with its low beams, brickwork and fireplaces.
If you’re looking to hire somewhere, you might be interested to know that there’s a massive modern conservatory that helps turn over two full sittings for weekend service and can be used for large private functions (closed on the day I visited).
So to the food, for which the ever expanding Muddy stomach was most grateful to receive. The week day set lunch is £13.95 for two or £17.95 for 3 courses – which trust me, is amazing value.
I started with grilled goats cheese with tomato and ale chutney (delicious, the goats cheese mellow and huge!)
followed by pan fried fillet of hake with lightly curried lentils and broccoli.
|I know fish and curry go well together in principle but I’ve never had curried lentils before. Holy crap it was good, really fantastic.
For dessert I went for the Muddy usual, a creme brulee. It cracked beautifully, was oozy and warm inside, basically did everything it says on the Creme Brulee manual.
Service was attentive and friendly. I really liked owner Andy, who’s owned the pub for around ten years and is incredibly friendly and charismatic and present around the pub – it’s clear to see a lot of the success is down to him. A former chef himself, he knows what he’s doing both with food and front of house.
There’s not much of an outside space to get excited about – a patio with more of those lovely flowers that sits next to the car park – but on a warm day you’d be cocooned rather pleasantly amongst the riot of colour, and over winter it’s not really an issue at all.
I think when you have kids over summer, you’re looking for space to boot them into, so for me The Old Thatched Inn is coming into its best months now. So if you’re visiting Stowe Landscape Gardens, Silverstone or Claydon House, or need a pit stop near Buckingham, put this pub on your potentials list, particularly now that its Christmas menu is well underway with 3 courses for a reasonable £24.95. Regard it as essential sustenance before attempting any tourist activity!
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Foodies looking for a great lunch or dinner in relaxed pub surroundings. Large group or family get-togethers – there are 120 covers in this restaurant.
Not for: Interiors lovers – the aertex walls and middle of the road furniture might irritate. Those with very young children might find the lack of outdoor space and the proximity to the road a bit of a challenge.
£££: Reasonable. Pan fried sea bass £14.50, fish and chips £12.95, burger £10.95, 8 oz fillet steak (the most expensive thing on the menu) £25.95. Desserts between £5-6.
The Old Thatched Inn, Main St, Adstock, Buckinghamshire MK18 2JN. Tel: 01296 712584