We decided to pop along to The Plough in Longparish last minute, we had been recommended to it by several people and also chat with them through our Twitter page, we were really hungry and so with it being only 5 minutes away, we hopped into the car and drove over. It really is a lovely drive through the Bourne Valley and we arrived promptly in Longparish, The Plough has a lovely big car park so there is always place to park, which we did and went inside.
I was quite shocked at how sophisticated the pub is now, the last time I came here was many many years ago and it had a real country pub feel, but this really does look like a fine dining experience, the menu is outside in a glass case that shows just how upmarket the food is from a quick glance. We approached the bar and I told the waiter who I was and if we were okay to eat without a booking, he said it was absolutely fine and showed us to a table near the fire, the table was nice and roomy, unlike many tables for two you are often seated at.
We were asked what we would like to drink and given the menus, we decided not to go for starters as we wanted to enjoy the mains, so when we ordered we just asked for some bread with butter and olive oil, I then chose the 8oz Gammon and Fried Egg with triple Cooked Chips and my friend ordered Roasted Partridge, Lentil Stew with Young Parsnips.
We relaxed and enjoyed our drinks, chatting about how lovely the surroundings were when the waitress (who I think is one of the owners) came out and presented us with our ordered bread but also a plate full of Whitebait with Tartare Sauce and Pork Scratching with Apple Sauce both beautifully presented in home made paper bags, I pointed out we had not ordered them but we were told they were the compliments of the house, it was really nice but neither of us like Whitebait but I did make myself try one as I felt I needed to and I think, if you like this dish, then you would love this particular one, the fish was fresh with a nice crispy outer batter. The pork scratchings were home-made and we were told it takes 3 days to make them, the apple sauce it arrived with was creamy with a lovely apple taste, dipping the scratching into the sauce lifted the pork so that you at first taste a cruncy crispy texture with the soft creaminess of the sauce whipping around the inside of your mouth.
The waitress asked if we would like to have our mains served with and around the starters but we said we had eaten enough and would have the mains alone so the plates were cleared away. Our meal arrived some 10 minutes later, my gammon was presented on a board with the egg on top and a small bucket of fries. My friend’s meal was presented in a beautiful crisp white bowl, with the lentils at the bottom and crispy parsnips and roasted partridge on top.
My friend cut into his partridge and took his first mouthful, his face said it all, he was in heaven, the earthy tones of the gamey partridge mixed with the lentils and perfectly roasted parsnips to perfection. I was a little disappointed with my meal, the egg had not been cooked properly and the white around the yolk was still clear, I decided not to send it back because I wanted to eat at the same time as my friend, my chips were also a little overcooked and I appeared to have all the teeny crispy bits in the bottom of my pot, however the extra fries that my friend ordered which came a little later than the main meal were really lovely, fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside, the gammon was cooked well but it was too much to be able to eat without any chips or egg.
We did not fancy anything from the dessert menu so asked to pay our bill, when we were given some lovely home-made fudge which was a really nice touch considering most places give the mint chocolates, the bill was £49 before service and I really do feel this was a good price.
My friend’s meal was fantastic, mine was not but I would definitely eat here again, the staff and service were amazing, the surroundings are country chic, the ambience is lovely and the cost was reasonable, this is why I am giving The Plough a Silver Ribbon.