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Review: The Three Horseshoes, Batcombe

The Three Horseshoes garden view

The Three Horseshoes garden view

When the April rain and cold finally clears away and you get your first really warm, sun-soaked day of the year. Well, it’s nice to sit outside a country pub and enjoy a good meal al fresco. Which is just what we did on the way back from Devon at The Three Horseshoes in the chocolate box village of Batcombe in deepest Somerset. So it’s a bit tricky to review the food while ignoring the pleasant occasion! I shall try.

‘Tis the season, so I had asparagus and sauce gribiche to start. The asparagus was perfect (albeit I prefer it grilled to steamed) and the sauce was a beautifully balanced sharp-creamy-sour combination on top. Easy but good. Maureen went for confit garlic with ricotta on toast. This was a truly lush thing. The garlic cloves were a soft bronze from their sloooow cooking and, spread upon the crunchy charred toast with the soft ricotta curds it was the mellow and funkiest possible experience of garlic.

Confit garlic

Confit garlic

Main courses were also simple but superb. I enjoyed a solid chunk of Hereford fillet steak, beautifully charred and a perfect medium-rare inside. I wasn’t asked how I’d like it cooked, and to be honest I prefer that – why is it, of all dishes, the customer is expected to know better how to a piece of beef than the chef? I’m never asked how crispy I want my potatoes, or how garlicky I’d like my gazpacho. It’s a stupid cultural tradition. Anyway, my steak came with a huge puddle of excellent bearnaise sauce, plenty leftover to dip the very good chips in (though I’d have liked them even more crispy, chef!). Maureen chose a megrim sole, which came with a spiffy herbal butter and cooked just exactly as you’d like it. What can I say? We kept it simple.
Fillet

Fillet

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