Put your pencils down and pop the kettle on, we’d love to share with you our entry in The Good Food Guide. We couldn’t choose one section to quote, as every line reminds us why we love doing what we do. It’s an absolute honour to be recognised in this national guide.
As one of the most influential food guides in the UK, featured restaurants in the Good Food Guide are nominated by the public before being verified by a team of respected editors who secretly visit the whittled down list to verify the results and give a final score of between one and ten. Scores represent the entire restaurant experience including both the quality of the cooking and the wider dining experience.
Our score of five represents ‘exact cooking techniques, balance and depth of flavour. A degree of ambition.’
Our entry states:
“The handsome portico entrance advances over its narrow bit of pavement to show that even little Topsham was once worthy of a Georgian coaching inn with aspirations to grandeur. Today’s more obviously boutique feel suits it well, and extends to a modestly proportioned linened dining room with oblique views of the garden. Tom Williams-Hawkes is firing on all burners here; immaculately sourced ingredients come together in unfashionably complex dishes of French-inflected modern British cooking, and even though there is a lot going on, it all hangs together. A spring dinner opened with an appetiser of new asparagus in watercress velouté, and proceeded to a bouillabaisse-themed starter, with a deep brown crustacean sauce surrounding a piece of cured sea trout, garnished with saffron rouille, tomatoes and croûtons. The main course was eloquently flavoured guinea fowl with a clump of hen of the woods mushrooms, romanesco, charred leeks and roast shallots, a couple of creamy purées offsetting a sparingly applied jus gras. To finish, a properly crisped crème brûlée flavoured with Earl Grey was teamed with exquisitely sharp lemon accompaniments – curd, sorbet and candied peel – as well as pecan praline. If the overall cost seems high, the attention to detail does a conscientious job of justifying it. Good choice by the glass, from £5.75, is a feature of a compact wine list that incorporates some stylish growers.”