Fancy a quick jaunt into the country. RiverTribe’s food writer,
Alison Jee, drops anchor at one of the Epicurean Collection’s 26 award-winning boutique
The idyllic Anchor Inn – a quirky 16th Century pub with rooms is situated at Lower
Froyle near Alton, Hampshire. It has a literary theme and we were in Rupert Brooke
– a spacious room with balcony overlooking the garden.
Low ceilings (padded beams!), log fires, and candlelit tables awaited us. Charlie, the
‘holding landlady’, and her colleague Eddie welcomed us, and suggested we start
with one of their many gins (Whitley Neil) and a pint of locally brewed Moondance
As the dog was travelling with us, we ate in the bar. The restaurant looked very nice
but the relaxed bar would have been our preference anyway. We started with devilled
calamari, dill aioli and charred lemon (Bar Nibbles) and pork & chorizo Scotch egg,
mustard aioli, crispy bacon (Starters). The calamari was small, sweet, crispy and
delicious – grilling the lemon is always a nice touch. The Scotch egg was excellent –
runny centre – and the chorizo flavour subtle.
Next my husband chose The Anchor Inn pie – chicken and leek that day. I chose the
Barbary duck breast. The pie was judged a triumph…someone in that kitchen clearly
knows how to make a pie fan happy! The duck was beautifully pink but – my only
criticism – a tad heavy with salt. The side we shared – sprout tops, garlic & bacon
crumb – was superb. Sides are available including Teriyaki cauliflower and truffle &
For pudding, blood orange posset, hazelnut Florentine, macerated orange – took my
fancy, and I knew that the treacle tart with ice cream and raspberry gel would appeal
to my husband. The posset was a perfect finale to the meal; not too sweet, shards
of delicious Florentine an intense blood orange flavour. Needless to say the treacle
tart lived up to expectations.
After a comfortable night, we awoke to glorious views of the countryside and the sun
streaming in. After a full English and a bowl of delicious kedgeree we dragged
ourselves upstairs to pack our bag and head home. But we will definitely be back!