AS Dorset sloshes around in Britain’s wettest drought, thoughts of mid-winter and hearty food continually flood my mind.
With my partner suffering the same affliction, we made our way west, along the coast road from Weymouth, to the Elm Tree Inn at Langton Herring.
For a rain-battered mid-week visit, the handful of people dining in this cosy country pub was understandable.
Ordering at the bar, I managed to veer away from my usual choice of pate followed by steak and instead opted for a brie and cranberry starter with the pie of the day as a main. The pie was steak and ale – but I don’t make the rules...
My partner chose scallops in a creamy sauce for a main, with grilled wild mushrooms to start.
The first courses arrived promptly. The mushroom, I am told, tasted excellent. The flavours complemented each other well and the creamy sauce – although perhaps too creamy – was hard not to keep eating.
My brie and cranberry on ciabatta was underwhelming in presentation. Nevertheless, this very simple (perhaps over-priced) dish still tasted good. After all, who doesn’t like melted cheese anyway?
After a pause to allow my partner’s sauce-filled stomach to prepare for another dish, the mains arrived. The tasty scallops were plucked from the plate with gusto. The second tranche of creamy sauce proved no match for my sea life-devouring other half and the debate over whether to eat the corals still rages.
Back with land-dwelling meats, my steak and ale pie was a mixed bag affair. The pie element was excellent. Deep flavours shone through and quelled my hearty food needs – although I was disappointed by the puff pastry nod towards the word ‘pie’.
Unfortunately, like the countryside around, my greens had been submerged for too long and this harmed the flavours.
With no room for dessert and with armbands on, we headed home. Little things make a big difference, but we’ll be back.