If two of you are attending a restaurant by car, one of you has to forgo alcohol.
I’m not a big drinker, as I’ve probably mentioned before. I don’t like the taste of alcohol, preferring apple juice to cider, fancy fizzy pop to champagne and milkshakes to White Russians. This makes me the natural designated driver, and while I’m always hopeful of something interesting yet non-alcoholic on the drinks menu, often as not there’s nothing that inspiring.
Therefore while H perused the amazing cocktail menu at Stovell’s (125 Windsor Road, Chobham), I was feeling a bit left out until I noticed on the menu it said to ask about soda, cordials etc. The incredibly helpful bar guy asked me what I liked, and I mentioned how the rhubarb puree in one of the cocktails had caught my eye. A few minutes later I was sipping a rhubarb, nettle, chocolate bitters and soda concoction, and feeling content.
This excellent start set the tone for the meal. After ordering, wonderful warm rolls with two types of butter (one smoked) arrived, accompanied by a pea shot and some interesting large crisps of different varieties, including parmesan and potato.
Our starters followed shortly, with H opting for the scallops with chorizo, lemon and little cubes of potato (this incurred a £5 surcharge to the set Sunday lunch menu we were having) and me having confit salmon with pickled daikon and fennel. All very pleasant, flavourful and light.
We then moved on to our mains. H had the roast beef, which was moist and meaty, and accompanied by a great Yorkshire, and some decent veg and roasties. I went for something a bit less traditional, and I would recommend you do the same – crisp pressed suckling pig with prunes and cauliflower cream, accompanied by an amazing jus and surrounded by puffy crispy bits of crackling. It was a lovely dish and I happily devoured my way through it.
H was too full for dessert but had an expresso martini, while I had a dainty chocolate and salted caramel mille feuille from the dessert trolley. Rich chocolate ganache, thin crisp pastry and a divine caramel sauce.
The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, and the beams and low ceilings gave things a rustic air. With two cocktails, a mocktail, service and 5 courses between us, the bill topped £80, but I feel it was well worth it and we definitely plan to return.
Note: Pics by me in a hurried shy panic 🙂