Light and lovely
PUBLISHED: 07:43 27 February 2013 | UPDATED: 19:50 05 April 2013
So you don't want to be weighed down by lunch – but still appreciate a delicious little feast
Just a mile and a half a quick gallop from Lambourn in West Berkshire, this family-run pub is well worth a visit. The light lunch menu will make you want to return for a heartier meal.
Oven-baked King Edward jacket potatoes with amazing fillings are very special. How about warm Witney ribeye with grilled local Barkham Blue cheese and The Ploughs own red onion chutney? Or theres crayfish and avocado with lemon and basil mayonnaise and mixed leaves, plus quite a few more options.
Other choices are equally innovative, particularly those served on a Cheddar and cracked pepper muffin. You might pick seared king scallops, haggis fritter and asparagus puree, or seared pigeon with king prawns and Thai chilli butter. Panfried mignons of Berkshire venison come with foie gras and sunblushed tomato butter.
As you can see, its a real fusion of flavours and textures, and weve only room for a few of the choices here.
See theplougheastbury.co.uk, tel 01488 71312
The White Hart Inn
Expect classic country inn food beautifully cooked by head chef Darren Booker-Wilson and his team. Darren was previously at the Donnington Valley Hotel and the Vineyard at Stockcross. He uses locally sourced ingredients and fresh fish straight off the boat for the Inns main menu as well as a new Lighter Lunches menu, designed for those with time or waistline pressures.The lighter options include a hot Nicoise salad with local eggs; whitebait with dips; and roasted winter vegetable risotto.Or for something quick but still satisfying, there is miniature fish and chips; sardines on toast or a Classic breakfast salad with bacon, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, poached egg and black pudding.Enough to keep you going whether youre heading back to the office or out on a brisk afternoon walk.
See whitehartinnhamsteadmarshall.co.uk, tel 01488 657545
Coworth Park, Ascot
Lunch can be as light or as filling as you like at this delightful venue in the grounds of the country house hotel. The atmosphere is more informal, but the food is all under the guidance of head chef Brian Hughson so mouthwatering treats are guaranteed.
The starters include dishes that can be served on a larger plate. We can recommend the Chefs salad with poached hens egg, black pudding beignet, bacon and sage butter sauce. Mulled pear salad with Mrs Bells blue cheese toasted walnuts and a red wine dressing is a tangy little feast. Vegetarians will love the baked Portobello mushrooms with garlic, pearl barley, lemon and watercress. Stay light and fill up for around 15, or give in, have three courses including delicious puddings for around 40.
See www.coworthpark.com/Barn, tel 01344 876 600
The Royal Oak
Just outside Marlow youll find the Good Pub Guides Buckinghamshire Dining Pub of the Year for 2012. The small plate dishes are true stunners. From just 6.75 they include Shetland steamed mussels with Bombay spiced coconut curry cream. Or you could go for home tea-smoked salmon with fennel, sesame seeds and blood orange dressing. The Trealy Farm charcuterie with walnut rmouldade and poached pear is a lure.
The mussels dish can also be ordered as a larger plate, as can bubble and squeak with oak-smoked bacon, free range poached egg and hollandaise sauce.
See www.royaloakmarlow.co.uk tel 0168 488611
The Tree Hotel
This picturesque venue near High Wycombe in Bucks offers a delicious array of wraps and exotic curries for lunch with prices starting from 7. Managing director, Kavita Pal says: We offer a mouth-watering selection of cuisines, specialising in Indian and European cooking. Theres no need to put up with monotonous lunches when you can have the tantalizing flavours of India. Even our sandwiches come with a small but delicious accompanying home-made soup!
As well as a classic Crepe Bretonne with ham, cheese, a touch of cream and scrambled egg, their crepes and wraps include vegetarian delights such as Masala Garzbano bean and Indian cottage cheese.
See cadmore.treehotel.co.uk, tel 01494 881183
The Swan, Salford
This lovely pub five miles from Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire has just undergone a transformation inside and out. Award-winning head chef Mark Austin now oversees an elegant eatery with chic furnishings and colonial style cutlery.
Theres a kitchen garden and fresh-laid eggs coming from the hen house. A smokery will give him the chance to add sublime dry smoked meat and fish to add to the all-new menu.
Deli boards include beetroot and vodka marinated salmon, tempura squid, spiced crab pt and smoked mackerel terrine (14). Several feasts offer small and large portion choices, such as a superfood salad featuring feta, avocado and watermelon with red rice and cashew pesto (7.50/13.50).
See www.swansalford.co.uk, tel 01908 281008