Coles Restaurant in Marlborough has been a focal point for local foodies for nearly 20 years – so a blog visit from Wade and Rock is well overdue. We are warmly greeted when we arrive by the restaurant manager, Sally, and shown to our table. It is on a level slightly above many of the other tables and this gives me a great view of other diners, the activity in the restaurant and the bar.
As usual at lunchtime I feel the need for a beer. Sally brings us glasses of water and brings me a Belapur IPA from the local Ramsbury Brewery. Even though I’m a big fan of Ramsbury Brewery, I haven’t tried Belapur before and it does not disappoint.
To start we share the Middle Eastern Mezze – a spectacle of falafel, hummus, beetroot tahini, baba ghanoush, courgette filo cigar, tzattziki, pickled vegetables and flat bread. Even though I’m a big fan of falafel & hummus and I’m normally blind to the merits of courgette – the surprising star of the mezze for me is the courgette filo cigar.
Rock is having the set lunch menu (fabulous value at £15.50 for 2 courses) and chooses the lemon & thyme crumbed pork schnitzel with pesto mash and caponata. I’m an a la carte sort of guy and on that menu I like the look of the rare grilled medallions of beef fillet with parsley & horseradish mash, french beans and a red wine jus. My fillet is extraordinary – almost an optical illusion – scorched on the outside but fabulously rare on the inside. Wow!
The mezze and mash have used up most of my available stomach capacity and so we decide to simply share Rock’s set menu dessert – apple, blueberry and plum shortcake crumble with crème Anglaise. It is a sight for sore eyes and full tummies – a beautifully delicate version of a crumble – far more fruit than crumble.
Sally and her colleagues have looked after us well and it is disappointing to hear that Coles may close later this year. Hopefully someone will come along with enough vision to see a lasting future for this place!