Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Summer Feasting at The Kings Head

Food envy. A crippling condition that takes over the stomach, mind and sometimes hands, when your fellow diners' food looks too good to miss. This is, unfortunately, something we both seem to suffer from, on at least a weekly basis, much to the infuriation of our chaps who bare the brunt of this terrible take over! Alas, we have found the cure! The new foodie concept at The Kings Head Hotel. Two words... Oh wow.

If you read our blog regularly you will know we visited the Kings Head on it's grand opening back in October last year, read here. We were totally smitten with the hotel and the ideology and production of their slogan "Create head space". From the luxuriousness of the grand bedrooms, G&T on arrival, beautiful dining spaces and the exciting projects that were ahead we got the concept. We came away after one night feeling like we had had a full weekend away, relaxed, rejuvenated and happy.

Well, we were delighted to be invited back to experience the new foodie concept, lovingly created and delivered by new passionate Executive Head Chef Dave Watts and his talented team. Dave Watt's has been with the hotel for 3 and half months now, coming from an 8 year background of Le Manoir and having trained with the likes of Raymond Blanc. 

We started the evening our favourite way, entering the beautiful rooms welcomed with a complimentary G&T and nibbles. This time round we were pleased to see two mini bottles of Siblings Gin, our favourite Cheltenham tipple. We then met our fellow diners down in the Panel Room, another cosy and stylish dining space. We were greeted with Cosmos and Margaritas made by the in-house cocktail expert. At this stage, having saved ourselves for dinner all day, we were excited to eat! Little did we know, just how much we were gunna!

GM Steven explained how the new concept is about revitalising how us Brits dine. Taking inspiration from European cultures where eating out is a celebration of food, an experience. The Kings Head wants to bring back social dining and we are totally happy with that. It allows you to try foods you wouldn't usually order and in some cases may have never tried before. They can't be called tapas because they're made up of the best of British producers. They can't be called light bites.... because they aren't. Some of them being full meal size! Watt's hit the nail on the head when we asked him what he was going to call them, aptly describing them as "little wows!" denoting a great way for diners to explore each dish.   

Unavoidably, as we were there to work, we had to try every dish; we think about 30 all in all (it was a hard evenings work). We just had to wash it down with Semelier's, Alan Holmes wine recommendations, including that delicious red desert wine again. Who wants to listen to our break down of every single dish we tried? Not you? Because we'd happily recommend every dish but instead, here's our absolute faves. 


Millie's Favourites:

The biggest surprise of the night was how much I enjoyed the Braised Pigs Head Croquettes, not something I would usually order off a menu. I literally had no idea what I was biting into until I overheard Chef explaining the dish. I am happy to say I would tuck into 10 more, dipped in that tangy Tarragon Mayo right now. 

I am a lover of Scallops but it is never something I can get right at home. What a treat to be presented with the biggest Fired diver caught Scallops (I'm not going to pretend I know what that means) I have EVER seen! They were served with crispy little slices of chorizo and cauliflower. 

I just can't finish off my favourites without quickly mentioning the beautifully cooked Venison loin served with red cabbage, dark chocolate and hazelnuts. Delish! 

Meg's Favourites

I bet you haven't eaten a tomato that has experienced so much TLC as the ones served with the 20oz Cote de beoeuf cooked on the Robata grill, a Japanese method of cooking on hot charcoals. As are many of the highlights on the menu, impressively even a ducks egg, served with white asparagus which HELLO, is white because it gets no sunlight. You learn something new every day.
Even the simplest of dishes were utterly delicious. The spring greens were to die for, I can't get over how much flavour you can get using one main ingredient. All the local suppliers are trumpeted on the menu so you know exactly where your food is from, cheers to that! 

I don't have a huge sweet tooth although I never turn down a dessert (try and figure that one out!) and I certainly would never order rice pudding. However, Dave's summer rice pudding was something special. served cold, extra creamy and topped with rhubarb and almonds. We just hope he vamps it up with cinnamon and berries serving it hot in the winter. 

You would not actually believe we had room left for anything else but then came in Miles, The Cheese Champion! We could write an entire blog post about him and his cheesy knowledge but lets just say, you're not going to want to leave without sampling some of Neals' Yard's finest. 

Off to our 'King' size beds to lie horizontal as we were so contently full. Our only regrets being that we couldn't make best use of these beautiful rooms for a long Friday lie in. Instead, we woke up back to reality, back to real work.

Thanks for having us again, we can't wait for our next return and to try out the Subterranean Spa (hint hint). 

Millie and Meg x

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