If you really liked a place first time round, then when you return, your expectations will usually be much higher than normal. Today, we are unreasonably excited about returning to The Feathered Nest in Nether Westcote and we are hoping the food and the service will match our high expectations! As we walk through the door, there is a hive of activity – a shedload of hungry diners and thirsty drinkers have arrived just before us.
I don’t recall the beer I had here last time but I don’t think it was as interesting or as unusual as today’s pint of Sapsucker, a pale ale created locally by a master brewer specially for the Feathered Nest. Rock decides she doesn’t need a starter but I go for the watermelon salad and cumbrian ham with feta, rocket and mint. I have burrowed my way through hundreds of dishes that feature melon and ham but….this is one of the very best. Looks beautiful, tastes beautiful.
Rock’s main is the suckling pig with creamed potato, black pudding, cabbage and apple. The pork is fantastically crunchy on the outside, has the right balance of fat and meat and sits in a pond of heavenly gravy. It is surrounded by creamy mash and silky apple sauce. I have the sea bream lodged on a cocoon of lobster tagliatelle, pattypan, courgette and a bisque. The sea bream is cooked to perfection, my only disappointment is the lobster tagliatelle, which I find a little uninspiring given the quality of everything else.
I move on to the summer berries gratin with a strawberry sorbet and mint. Fruits of the earth have been set around the sorbet with a light swirl of cream and jus. Another plate which looks and tastes like a piece of art. Rock has a more straightforward sorbet dish. Two different flavours, rhubarb & buttermilk, served on lemon granite and with a web of delicate sugarwork. She loves the flavours and the smooth texture of the sorbets.
We really did not want to come here and be disappointed. The Nest did not just meet our expectations this time round….it exceeded them!