Review: The Churchill Arms, Paxford, Gloucestershire
Walking into this beautifully restored 17th century Cotswolds hostelry near Chipping Campden, I was reminded of the opening line of T.S. Eliot’s poem, Burnt Norton: “Time present and time past. Are both perhaps present in time future?”
What stories the walls here could tell of love gained and love lost, of friendships, revelries and more! [Very poetic. Did you write this after a glass or two of red? – Ed].
Chef and proprietor Nick Deverell-Smith has worked with several of London’s best chefs, notably Pierre Marco White, although it’s Eric Chavot who holds a special place in his culinary journey. Now plying his trade in this bucolic Cotswold village, Nick’s passion for food is undimmed.
Cooking with inspiration and – more importantly – fantastic local produce, he is delivering plates of great flavour. Nick has a strong bond with his suppliers, insuring only the best seasonal ingredients appear on his menu. For example, a T-bone pork chop from Todenham Manor Farm served with a meat jus, sage leaves, spiced apple and crackling was absolutely on the money! A starter of smoked haddock soufflé in a chive velouté also hit the spot. To finish, an indulgent chocolate pudding, perfectly runny inside and topped with glazed bananas and accompanied by ice cream, concluded our meal delightfully.
I put Nick on the spot and asked if he had to choose one meal to eat, not necessarily something on his menu, what would it be? His answer – a chateaubriand steak with girolles mushrooms and maybe truffle macaroni cheese – was suitably mouthwatering.
The Churchill Arms has four smartly appointed rooms for those wishing to stop over and explore the countryside. And enjoy a hearty breakfast, of course.
You will not be disappointed!