Having visited The Bugle Inn twice prior to creating this blog and feeling that it was unfair to write a review on memory alone, I decided it was time for a 3rd visit.
The pub and restaurant is easy to miss, a sign gives away its’ location immediately before a left turn off the main road that flows through the village of Twyford, 3 miles outside of the ex-capital City of Winchester. As seems to be the way with village pubs, whilst there are parking spaces available, there doesn’t appear to be enough to cope with the pubs ever growing popularity.
The popularity isn’t for no good reason either. With their commitment to using top quality seasonal and local produce, they consistently deliver dishes that are both fresh and full of flavour. This visit was no exception.
A basket of warm bread and a selection of dipping oils started the meal off nicely, giving us something to graze on as we waited for the starters to arrive.
Despite a love for meat of pretty much any description, I am occasionally partial to the odd vegetarian dish and the starter I selected, was one such occasion. Roasted Beetroot and Goats Cheese salad was the perfect start to a meal on a warm summers evening. The cheese was beautifully soft and creamy with the beetroot and chunks of orange being both refreshing and delivering the slight acidity required to cut through the cheese . A slight crunch was added by a sprinkling of Walnuts throughout the salad with shaved Pecorino and a honey and mustard dressing finishing the dish off.
When Pork Belly and Scallops are allowed to come together in a single dish it creates one of the all time classic food combinations. Deciding on this for the main course was probably the easiest decision I’ve made in a long time. Not only was it the easiest decision, it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’d made in recent times too.
The belly was cooked superbly. A crispy layer of skin, giving way to succulent melt in the mouth meat underneath.The Scallops were cooked well, if possibly a touch over, however this was only a minute issue as the rest of the dish was such a success. The Scallops and Belly were accompanied by Potato Dauphinoise and a pork shoulder croquette, a perfectly crisp outside, housing tender meat on the inside. A Cider and Apple reduction completed the dish and with the addition of the Apples showcased another classic food combo.
Last up, dessert. A Trio of Chocolate was for me a no-brainer. A scoop of Dairy Free Chocolate Ice Cream sits on a ceramic tasting spoon, the Ice Cream sourced alongside the majority of the meat used at The Bugle from Laverstock Park Farm, an award winning organic farm a mere 19 miles away that is owned and run by ex formula 1 champion, Jody Scheckter. A chocolate fondant and a chocolate mousse make up the rest of the threesome and unite to make a dish that is elegantly presented and had the taste to back it up too, with the fondant hiding a gooey chocolate centre and the sorbet being a welcomed refresher after a particularly indulgent dessert.
The Bugle is a delightful pub and restaurant and whilst a little bit on the pricey side, two 3 course meal and a glass of wine each coming in at just over £85, it is one of the best examples of a restaurant showcasing the very best produce that Hampshire and the surrounding area has to offer.