Friday, October 10, 2008

The Harrow at Little Bedwyn - Michelin starred marvel only minutes from Hungerford

After a productive week and ample excuse to celebrate Morgan PR let call handling supremos Verbatim take the strain while we took the short four-mile journey west of Hungerford to the marvellous Michelin starred venue: The Harrow at Little Bedwyn.

Remarkably it was back in June we were last at The Harrow, which is far too long to neglect such brilliant food, wine and service, so with a long lunchtime to spare - or rather putting everything on hold for a long lunch, we indulged, tempted by the Set Tasting Menu we had seen on The Harrow's excellent emailed PDF newsletter. The menu changes daily to make best use of the freshest available ingredients, but you get the idea from the sample sample menu pictured right.

Before it was the new season Veuve Clicquot that we were raising aloft, today however we were treated to what is officially the finest Sauvingnon Blanc in the world! Specifically, the Tamar Ridge Kayena Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2007 was recently awarded the International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy at the prestigious 2008 Decanter World Wine Awards. Poetically, The Harrow is the current Decanter Restaurant of The Year.

The Harrow, founded in its current form by Roger and Sue Jones, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year . While it is undoubtedly a popular venue, we have only just started visiting and far too many people we talk to will know about this terrific restaurant on our doorstep, but have not visited!

They should. The food, often cooked by Roger himself - as it was today - is superb and ably partnered with the best wines from an extensive wine list of some 900 wines. Service is superb with Sue a virtuoso of the fine arts of front of house, as are general manager Peter Hinchciffe and restaurant manager Heather McKnight.

There is a temptation to believe that a Michelin star, or indeed a cluster of AA Stars can render a restaurant both outrageously expensive and impenetrably stuffy. Thankfully The Harrow was neither and while we eventually stuck with the £30 tasting menu it would have been easy and affordable to wander into the a la carte and indeed the hefty wine list.

Writing of wine... back to that Tamar Ridge Sauvignon Blanc, it was truly superb. Being reasonably well travelled in the New World I have always fared rather well picking wines from regions I have visited, often via carefully chosen vineyards. And while I have been to Tasmania, it was the east coast vineyard around Bicheno and the stunning Wineglass Bay that I had visited, clearly missing out on Tamar Ridge in the north. Suffice to say it was a delight to discover these wines could be bought to take home, and indeed we did, a trio of the Sauvignon Blanc.

Sadly we cannot make the next Tamar Ridge event at The Harrow, but have no hesitation in recommending it those who follow this blog. Due to be held on 19th October it promises to be a stunning affair with the very best Tamar Ridge has to offer, matched magnificently with the most impressive dishes that Roger can conjure up. It costs just £75 and you need to call 01672 870871 to book. There are only a few spaces left so hurry

Incidentally, if you have been to The Harrow before, it has a new, lovely clean look (see the photo below) after part of the summer was spent making this delightful venue truly look the business, one that belies its country pub location - which as I have said, is only four miles from Hungerford.

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