There's no bad time to write about British beef but we thought during #BritishBeefWeek is the perfect time to talk about the incredible supper that we enjoyed at The Chequers in Churchill with Richard Turner.
As we arrived, the pub was already brimming with lots of people and we were greeted with Shakey Pete's Ginger Brew cocktail that also consisted of lemon and after the first few tentative sips, it actually got better further down the glass. After a little more mingling and idle chit-chat we were taken into the beautiful dining room which has dark walls and exposed beams and was laid out in a banquet style with three rows of tables which seemed quite fitting for what we were about to encounter.
We sat down and Richard was introduced to the dining party. We studied the menu. Beef Tea with Bread and Dripping was the thing that created much discussion and when the china tea pot arrived, and mugs were filled, the sips were even more uncertain than those of the cocktail but we needn't have worried as it was delicious and unfairly compared to Bovril more than once. It was a pleasant surprise to see scallop on the starter menu and that arrived proudly sat on a shell and covered in fennel butter and garlic crumb goodness and was a treat to the taste buds.
Also on the starters was a Beef Tomato Salad. And a tomato on a side plate duly arrived followed by a large plate of perfectly cooked beef, followed by some Creamed Spinach and some Trotter Mash which created a plate of food like this (see below)...
This was a delicious as it looks and I think another piece (or two) were added to my plate and then something happened. A huge oval plate of Charcoal grilled Poterhouse Steak was brought to our table. This, with its mammoth T-Bone, had been resting for 3 hours awaiting our arrival. Before I go on it is hard to get across the taste of something in words but this Ladies and Gentleman, was the greatest thing I have ever eaten. It was melt in your mouth tender, smoky, slightly burnt on the edges, much better than a fillet and simply sublime. Even those few words are not doing it justice.
The last thing I needed was anything else but it's hard to resist a Sticky Toffee Pudding with Clotted Cream that was served in a sundae glass and again was a delight.
Richard, I salute you.
Richard's book Prime: The Beef Cookbook is out now and is available to by HERE
For more upcoming Lucky Onion Events click HERE
Cheltenham will host the finish of the penultimate stage of the Tour of Britain this September, the world's best cyclists race through the Cotswolds to arrive in town on Saturday 9 September.
Stage Seven of Britain’s premier road cycling event will start in Hemel Hempstead, crossing Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire before passing through the likes of Bourton-on-the-Water, Stow-on-the-Wold and Moreton-in-Marsh.
The stage will see a King of the Mountains climb of Cleeve Hill before finishing in the centre of Cheltenham, the first time that the town will have hosted Tour of Britain.
Fore more information visit www.tourofbritain.co.uk
The line-up for this year's Great British Menu has been announced and includes Nick Deverell-Smith, head chef and owner of The Churchill Arms in Paxford near Chipping Campden (below), who will compete in the Central region.
Chefs will be trying to create dishes good enough to serve at the All England Lawn Tennis Club banquet held at Wimbledon and must celebrate the 140 year old championships and a 'Taste of Summer'.
The programme will be aired leading up to Wimbledon later this spring.
Like it or loathe it, TripAdvisor is a platform used by millions of people everyday who want a second opinion on whether a hotel, restaurant or place of interest is actually worth visiting. The thing is, anyone can set up an account and they can more or less say whatever they like. The trouble is, this can damage a businesses reputation and each review could actually just be made up!
I have never written a review on TripAdvisor. I have used it to look for that second opinion that I was on about but gave up as the reviews are so mixed that you come out more confused than when you went in.
Yesterday, former Masterchef finalist and new Cheltenham restauranteur Andrew "Koj" Kojima received a bad review. The person complaining mentioned "Bland Food and Drink", "Lots of tables next to each other" and, my favourite, "Odd flavoured cocktails". For the interest of balance this may all have been true. Koj may have had an off night and the staff may have not been on the ball fully. You have better nights than others, it happens. But this review is virtually opposite to what everyone else has said about Koj on TripAdvisor. Reluctantly Koj replied and was very graceful with it. Other restaurant owners may not have been so civil. But that doesn't take away from the fact that that review will be there forever. People will read through 50 good ones and get to this one and will have second thoughts. The person who complained about Koj also gave Pitville Park a bad review last year for being “NOISY AND FULL OF CHILDREN”......... wait for it.......... in the summer! Those pesky children enjoying themselves, whatever next?
So why should we take their opinion seriously? We shouldn't of course. But in six paragraphs this person has tried to damage the reputation of one of Cheltenham's newest dining venues. Who says that he wasn't in a negative mood going into the meal. As Koj points out in his reply "a restaurant experience is subjective" and can be "dependent on your own mood or frame of mind on a particular day".
So think twice before you post a negative review on TripAdvisor and perhaps just speak to a member of staff before taking to the internet and hiding behind a username.
You can read the review and Koj's response here - KOJ TRIPADVISOR and the amusing review from the same TripAdvisor user about Pitville Park below!