Originally a traditional coaching inn, the Talbot Inn at Mells has been updated to meet the more sophisticated tastes of the modern world and is now an award winning pub. Their food has received several rave reviews and today we are there for lunch to see what all the fuss is about. Mells is a fabulous old Somerset village dating back to the Domesday Book and the Talbot blends perfectly into these historic surroundings.
It’s beer o’clock so Rock and I both have Butcombe Bitter – brewed in the West Country and a favourite drink when we are in this part of the UK. Rock decides to have the whole Brixham plaice with capers, celery, spinach and grilled lemon. I have the Brixham hake with peas, sugar snaps, chorizo, samphire and hollandaise. I don’t know if this is a new trend but I seem to be finding a lot of places adding chorizo to a fish dish – not that I’m complaining! Both fish dishes have been carefully constructed with interesting flavour combinations and my hake is not overcooked. However, Rock’s plaice is borderline in terms of cooking and neither dish is truly extraordinary. We have chips on the side … and they are good chips.
We decide against a full dessert but I fit in a decent affogato while Rock has coffee. The Talbot is a lovely pub in a beautiful place. The food is far better than you get in most pubs but I’m not sure it has quite lived up to the rave reviews.