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We were delighted to welcome Katherine MacAlister to visit The Kitchen in Farnborough, this Summer. We were over the moon with her subsequent review…

Katherine says…

” I hate missing out. You know that. I have to be in the know. And while I was aware that The Kitchen at Farnborough was doing great things (they wrote about it for our food pages for goodness sake) I was also quietly confident. The cat was in the bag, what was the rush? Besides, it seemed a little bit far away, situated as it is near Banbury. I’d go another time, give it time to settle in, bide my time, visit somewhere nearer my own front door. Foolish.

Because then The Good Food Guide 2018 came out and threw a spanner in the works, naming The Kitchen as one of the top three restaurants in the South East, and shedding my lethargy as fast as a table dancer’s feather boa in Spearmint Rhino.

I was booked in for lunch the very next day and could be found loitering in the car park before noon, desperate to get started.

Despite a charming, comfortable and kooky interior, the sun was shining and a large, smart beer garden beckoned, framed by the charming, Hornton stone cottages already filling with satisfied locals settling in for lunch. No competition then.

We tried to restrain ourselves from engulfing the bread, served as different flavoured rolls in individual flower pots, laced with whipped butter, while waiting for our starters, but fared badly. The evidence was already amassing. We were in for a treat.

Take the poached Hooky duck egg with green bean and pea salad and rapeseed mayo, a seemingly simple innocuous sounding late summer dish, until it arrived resplendent on a bright blue plate, oozing with colour, texture and dexterity, the bright yellow yolk saying everything that needed to be said about sourcing, sustainability and local suppliers.

Hooky Egg

Because this discerning village pub has set a precedent in how to open a local hostelry and do it properly without any pomp, circumstance and pretension. Because while inspired, beautifully decorated, and wonderfully staffed, it still manages to be both welcoming and relaxing…”

Katherine continues

” But the piece de resistance?

The chocolate orange with Seville orange sorbet and honeycomb (£8), a billiard-sized ball, which, when cracked, revealed a chilled chocolate mousse, accentuated by the sharp coldness of the citrus sorbet and the crunch of the honeycomb. A picture prefect dish.

So dainty, so clever, such a perfect conclusion to a wonderful meal.

The Kitchen in Farnborough then was a lesson in diplomacy; I will never leave it this late again, and vow to venture further afield and trust my instincts.

Because this discerning village pub has set a precedent in how to open a local hostelry and do it properly without any pomp, circumstance and pretension. Because while inspired, beautifully decorated, and wonderfully staffed, it still manages to be both welcoming and relaxing.

With a new menu in place since my visit, I can’t wait to go back, and it’s that kind of anticipation that puts The Kitchen at the top of the charts.”

To view the full review please visit The Oxford Mail online