The Parrot Inn, Forest Green, Surrey RH5 5R2
Go there for: Hearty pub food with a modern tweak featuring the owner’s farm- reared meat and produce.
Avoid: Thinking this too far off the beaten track to travel too: the journey is well worth it.
Is it worth the calories?: We think so! But careful, the portions are generous here.
Tips: Make sure you try the unique air-cured ham made in their own butchery. Request that your pudding is heated in the oven and not the microwave.
This has the double whammy of being a highly regarded gastro pub and an award winning farm shop. This is a Gotto family affair and they have a wealth of experience from enterprises in London and Surrey. Enjoy a sandwich from the specials board at the bar or order from the main menu in the dining room or pub itself. On sunny days, sit in the garden and gaze across the green into open countryside: it’s a tantalisingly relaxing location to watch the world go by, on horseback, horse-drawn carriage and other modes of transport.
We visited last November on a crisp autumn day: Jane ordered a deep dish steak and ale pie with a puff pastry crust, mashed potato and vegetables. The filling was perfectly cooked, full of autumnal feistiness, the meat mouth-meltingly tender. I had the pork and pistachio terrine with goose rillettes and toasted sour dough. The terrine was a little dry but perfectly balanced by some wine jelly and they were happy to bring some more. The waitress also bought us a sample of their homemade soup to try, which was delicious. For dessert we shared a chocolate and cognac flan with salted butter caramel sauce with a hand made biscuit and ice cream.
A disappointing finish, as the flan had been microwaved (a pet hate of ours), which made the pastry soggy. We didn’t finish it and explained why we had left it. Without hesitation the dessert was removed from our bill. We felt that they had been extremely professional as the meal had been delicious apart from the dessert.
On a summer visit I sampled a starter from the main menu: scallops in sauce vierge. This was an interesting version of this sauce, a little more cooked than you would expect a true vierge to be. It worked well, as the bacon and tomato flavours accented the fat juicy scallops with great aplomb. It was essential to try another dessert: this time I couldn’t resist lemon sponge with vanilla ice cream and lemon curd. The lemon curd was tart and sweet, a perfect match for the warm sponge and cold ice cream.
I have a niggling feeling that the sponge might have also had its molecules realigned by waves generated by a magnetron, but the food is good enough to withstand this very slight criticism. I got chatting to some American tourists, who had also had a great lunch. We agreed that the setting and food in this pub was worth the journey through some gorgeous Surrey countryside.
01306 621 339