Sunday, 5 August 2018

REVIEW: Brookmans Pub, Brookman's Park

Review of Brookmans Pub in Brookmans Park by essbeevee Hertfordshire Buckinghamshire Bedfordshire food blogger gastro pub
Review of Brookmans Pub in Brookmans Park by essbeevee Hertfordshire Buckinghamshire Bedfordshire food blogger gastro pub
Review of Brookmans Pub in Brookmans Park by essbeevee Hertfordshire Buckinghamshire Bedfordshire food blogger gastro pub

I had this discussion the other day about whether or not I'm a sweet or savoury person. I said I thought I was 50/50. Matt scoffed at this and said 'Oh, please. You're at least 90% sugar.' But I don't know. I mean, I do love me some sugar, but I could never give up my savoury faves. Chocolate forever, sure, but not without chips. And crisps. And cheese.

My love for cheese has become one of those defining traits that people associate with me, and I'm okay with that. Generally, being open about your love of cheese leads to more cheese, you see. And all of that cheese-related spiel doesn't have a whole lot to do with this blog post, only to lead into the fact that when there's a cheese souffle on a specials board, you'd better believe I'll order it.

So you can probably guess what happened when I popped along to review the new-look Brookmans Pub recently. There was a cheese souffle, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Apart from the part when my husband said 'Can I try some?' *death glare*



Review of Brookmans Pub in Brookmans Park by essbeevee Hertfordshire Buckinghamshire Bedfordshire food blogger gastro pub

Brookmans Park is a little off the beaten track for us, but it was well worth the visit - as we were driving away, we were already plotting when next to return. We had a seriously excellent meal here, and I'm a little jealous of those who live closer to it, as I assume they're cheerfully working their way through the menu. It's a huge, light space with to-die-for decor. I loved the green palm print chairs. Everyone who works there seems really proud of it, and the service was amazing - for everyone, not just those doing reviews!

As is well documented by now, I started with one of the specials - the cheese souffle. NOM FREAKING NOM, YOU GUYS. It was so fluffy and light, and most importantly VERY cheesy. And it's an often overlooked thing, but I really enjoyed the accompaniments - the drizzle of balsamic cut through the creamy cheese to deliver the perfect contrast, the salad had a delicious dressing to it and the cherry tomatoes were served warm and incredibly sweet, packing a serious flavour punch.

Review of Brookmans Pub in Brookmans Park by essbeevee Hertfordshire Buckinghamshire Bedfordshire food blogger gastro pub

Matt had the Severn & Wye smoked salmon (I KNOW. Which I don't eat. After I let him try my delicious souffle, too). He said it was great quality, but what elevated it was that the flavours served with it went perfectly - he loved the dill sauce in particular, but also the fennel, cucumber and capers salad was a great side. Light and tasty - just what you need on a warm Saturday. Sidenote: isn't it weird that ALL the Saturdays are warm these days?

Review of Brookmans Pub in Brookmans Park by essbeevee Hertfordshire Buckinghamshire Bedfordshire food blogger gastro pub

I didn't want a hugely heavy main, because I had dinner plans so I went for one of my favourite healthy-but-sort-of-not options - salad with a side of chips! The Bang Bang chicken salad really appealed to me, and it didn't disappoint. I love Thai flavours and I love peanuts, and this combined both of those things in an excellent way. The chicken and cucumber salad was dressed in a nutty, sesame sauce with the perfect level of spice - a tiny kick to it, but never overwhelming. And it was super peanutty - there was almost more peanuts than chicken, which I wasn't mad about. For a salad without one of my go-to filling options like grains or rice, it was actually very filling. I almost forgot about my chips. Almost.

Review of Brookmans Pub in Brookmans Park by essbeevee Hertfordshire Buckinghamshire Bedfordshire food blogger gastro pub

Matt went for another option off the Specials Board - the duck. As a rule, I usually try not to go nuts with the specials when I do a blog review, because I think it's kind of unfair on the restaurant to talk about something that won't be for sale when people come. But the specials at Brookmans were all sooo tempting that I had to break my one-per-review rule. The duck was served on top of creamy mash, with a rich sauce made of with sour cherries all on a base of pickled beetroot. LORD it was good. (I got to try this one) It was such a good flavour combination - the sweetness of the cherries and sourness of beetroot contrasted beautifully with the duck, which was perfectly cooked. The mash was smooth, buttery and rich. To sum it up, in my notes I put 'Basically amazing'. So there you go.

Review of Brookmans Pub in Brookmans Park by essbeevee Hertfordshire Buckinghamshire Bedfordshire food blogger gastro pub

We were both pretty full, but couldn't resist the desserts menu. We ordered two to share, although both did a pretty terrible job of sharing. Matt hogged the Bakewell Tart, which was warm, fluffy and fresh and served with a blob of clotted cream. But I was pretty happy with the creme brulee, which was creamy and rich. It was served with lemon shortbread and my only tiny criticism is that I really couldn't taste the lemon, but that's a small price to pay for an otherwise pretty perfect meal.

Review of Brookmans Pub in Brookmans Park by essbeevee Hertfordshire Buckinghamshire Bedfordshire food blogger gastro pub
Review of Brookmans Pub in Brookmans Park by essbeevee Hertfordshire Buckinghamshire Bedfordshire food blogger gastro pub

I honestly couldn't rave about Brookmans enough. It was the kind of meal I'd be happy to travel a bit further for, and would be great for a special occasion. It's part of the Peach Pubs group, of which I've reviewed The White Horse in Harpenden before - I'll have to try out their Berkhamsted and Thame pubs next. Thank you for an entirely excellent meal, Brookmans!

Brookmans Pub is at Bradmore Green, Brookmans Park, Hertfordshire AL9 7QW. The restaurant kindly paid for our meal in exchange for this honest review.
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