Tonight we are going back to The Foxham Inn to meet Gino & Cosmo for dinner. I haven’t seen Gino since we went to the Green Man festival together and Rock and Cosmo haven’t seen each other for over a year – so there is plenty to catch up on. The Foxham Inn is run by Neil and Sarah and, while you can usually find Sarah managing the bar, Neil is in the kitchen creating an ever changing menu using mainly local ingredients.
Gino and I both try the Anvil Ale from the Old Forge Brewery. It is an ale with strong malt, nut and caramel flavours and a good bitter finish. Rock has a glass of tempranillo and Cosmo a glass of pino grigio. Gino and Cosmo decide to share the crispy whitebait served with lemon & tartare. Rock & I share the hot and cold smoked salmon pâté with mascarpone. We are enjoying the starters while talking about our recent trip to the Peak District and Gino and Cosmo’s upcoming holiday in Menorca.
Gino, Cosmo and I all choose the belly of pork with braised red cabbage, dauphinoise potatoes, apple purée and gravy. Rock has to be different and goes for the cassoulet of Guinea fowl breast with chorizo, smoked bacon, mixed beans, spinach & a red wine jus. The pork belly and the dauphinoise potato look strangely similar in shape, texture and symmetry but taste really good. Personally, I think a creamy mash would have provided a better contrast to the pork belly. The Guinea fowl is cooked really well and the only fault Rock finds is that the chorizo is a bit ‘rustic’.
The quality of the food and conversation has persuaded us that we do need dessert. In some sort of conspiracy to give me less dishes to blog about, we all choose the lemon polenta cake with lemon posset, lemon ice cream and meringue. It is beautiful – the warm polenta cake works really well with the cool posset and cold ice cream. The evening has flown by with talk moving from cycling to family, to education, music and world politics.
The atmosphere at the Foxham Inn is typical of many English pubs but their food is far, far better than you find at most. Service is friendly and they have decent beers. If you go there with good friends, like we have, you are in for a great time.