We are back at an old favourite, The Wheatsheaf at Northleach to meet Roland & Jasmine for lunch. Northleach is a quiet and beautiful Cotswold village, mostly undisturbed by tourists, and the Wheatsheaf is a popular venue for those needing a drink or some decent food.
While Rock cleans her palate with a lime & soda, the rest of us have pints or halves of Coaster – an excellent honeyed malty light ale from Sharp’s Brewery. We decide to pass on starters and go straight to the main event. Rock is having smoked aubergine with roasted Romano peppers, tobacco onions and Tabbouleh salad. It looks colourful and fascinating – the huge slices of aubergine surround the tomatoes, bulgur, parsley, chickpeas and mint of the Tabbouleh and the peppers, all topped with pieces of crispy onion. However – Rock feels that the dish really doesn’t quite work. It is a disparate collection rather than a harmony!
Jasmine and I have the rump of lamb with marinated Evesham tomatoes, slices of new potato, tzatziki and long strips of cucumber. The lamb is beautiful and, thankfully, the dish is a triumph. Roland has the peppered flat iron steak – deeply scorched on the outside but beautifully pink inside. It is served with watercress, tomato and fries. He is loving it!
More Coaster and then, dessert. Roland & Jasmine both have the warm peaches with marsala, almonds & clotted cream. Fabulous sticky flavours of the middle east, with a nutty crunch all complemented perfectly by the cream. Rock & I share the lovely Wye Valley blueberry & apricot crumble with vanilla ice cream.
Overall it has been a high quality affair with only Rock’s vegetarian dish falling below the standards we had been hoping for. It has been good to be back here and we have enjoyed fine service from James and other members of the team. If you are in this part of the Cotswolds, both Northleach and the Wheatsheaf are well worth a visit.