The Hand and Flowers Marlow has been on John’s restaurant list for quite some time. Lucky for him I paid attention to a comment he made about the place and made a sneaky booking for his birthday.
Owned by chef Tom Kerridge a beautiful pub with rooms in the heart of Marlow. It’s the only 2 Michelin Star pub in the UK offering comfort and delicious food all under one roof. They say “Toms menu is about brilliant ingredients, cooked simply to let the flavours shine. I say where can I sign up.
The Pub itself is a traditional pub, cosy and comfortable, decorated tastefully and staffed with some lovely people. No stuffy dare I say it, stuck up people that put you on edge. It’s like walking into your local but better. The bar is packed full of all the options you could wish for and the staff are happy to suggest something to suit your tastes. I had the most delicious gin while we waited to go through to our table. John tried the Hand and Flowers Ale. Neither disappointed.
As we went on a Sunday the only option available is Sunday lunch which, based on the sample menu, looks pretty much the same as the normal menu. There is a switch of steak to a Sunday roast beef.
The food is very much traditional pub food but on steroids. If you’re looking for fancy food that you haven’t got a clue what you’re eating then this one might not be for you.
We were treated to whitebait to start, which although the thought of them makes me feel funny, were actually quite tasty. Eating an entire fish including it’s eyes, thats all I’m saying.
John had duck liver parfait with an insane wedge of brioche toast. My god the taste was on a whole other level with the lightest whipped texture. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything like it.
My choice pork pie, sounds kind of an odd choice but a little wedge of melton mowbray and a dollop of brown sauce is right up my street. It did not disappoint, pastry was perfection, crisp but flakey, with tasty pork stuffed inside and a hidden pickled onion. The pie sat on a bed of jelly which was far from the dodgy bit of jelly usually found inside. If you know you know! It melted and had little bits of vegetable running through. Although the menu said it came with a date puree it reminded me of the brown sauce and made me extremely happy. The Pickle on top, nah not for me.
we copied each other and went the same belly pork. The crispiest bit of crackling sat on top of tender meat, accompanied by a pulled pork crocket type thing, pineapple, pork cheek and a mustard mayo. I am probably butchering the names of everything, I’d read their menu if you want an actual description. I’m just saying what I saw. The flavours were divine and everything was cooked to perfection. I couldn’t resist a side of their chips which were every bit as crispy and fluffy as I had hoped.
Not gonna lie pudding was the last thing on my mind after all that food but who can resist. Two sweet toothed people what you gonna do. Plus you’ve gotta experience everything. John opted for a blackberry soufflé and I had a caramel tart. Both were delicious and the perfect finish to the meal.
We had the best time. The food didn’t disappoint in anyway. Delicious wine to accompany our food. I was really pleased to see an array of pricing for the wines as well as different sizes. There is nothing worse than feeling like you can only justify one glass or being forced into a ridiculously priced bottle. The service was relaxed but attentive. It only ever claims to be good pub food and it really was brilliant. When can I go back.
I think if you are a fussy eater or vegetarian or vegan this probably won’t be for you. It is expensive as with most Michelin star restaurants. That said I didn’t feel upset about the bill in anyway. We enjoyed it so much, it felt worth every penny. For more information head to their website.
Have you been to The Hand and Flower? What did you think?
Catch my last post here if you missed it.