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The Mash Inn Radnage - Restaurant review

PUBLISHED: 11:01 29 November 2016 | UPDATED: 11:01 29 November 2016

Mackerel arrives with Hasselback potatoes

Mackerel arrives with Hasselback potatoes

Maureen McLean. All Rights Reserved

Jan Raycroft and Maureen McLean stop for lunch and discover mackerel the equal of anything rustled up beachside, straight from the sea

We know what we had, but can’t tell you what you’ll get to eat here, as goodness knows what the staff will have foraged from the local woodland, picked up at markets or have had delivered in a bag by local residents that morning. Then there’s the veg garden out the back, probably still giving up some of the best of its late harvest.

What we have here is a boutique inn with five cosy rooms to stay the night or a weekend in, operating from what was once The Three Horseshoes (which no doubt would have gone the way of so many similar pubs hiding down the twists and turns of leafy lanes).

Overseeing proceedings are Nick Mash (yes, of the Bucks greengrocery and farming family going back at least two centuries) and chef Jon Parry who actually has a 2:1 MPhys, Physics & Astronomy from Cardiff University but clearly enjoys more the ‘science’ of cooking over a wood-fired grill in the open kitchen.

But wait, there’s a lot more to them than that. Nick has headed up some very successful gastropubs in London and Jon, if you can drag him away from the flames, might reveal a polished CV which includes the Michelin-starred Tom Aikens in Chelsea and working for Adam Byatt at Trinity in Clapham.

But here they are, out in the sticks, doing food for grown ups. This really isn’t a place to take the kiddies. They won’t like it. There’s a regularly changing sort of a la carte and daily menu and the top choice of a £45 tasting feast. On the day of our visit it included nine dishes with such features as rabbit kebabs, corn on the cob from the garden, the mackerel we had (ask them to sear it a bit if ‘just cooked’ doesn’t take your fancy), oysters, partridge with smoked mash and chanterelles – Nick was rightly going into raptures over these – and Innes log goat cheese before treacle tart with homemade clotted cream.

Nick has kept that Three Horseshoe sign as ‘a romantic gesture’ and the little bar as you enter reeks of the pub’s near 300 years of history, but beyond that you arrive in a bright open space with bespoke furniture produced in ash and oak by Bates and Lambourne of Milton Common. There’s a terrace and garden for the warmer weather.

With those room, comfy beds (no TVs just a radio in the room) from around £100, it’s definitely one of the best countryside hidey-holes we’ve found in ages.

Open Tues-Sat for lunch and dinner (last reservation 9.15pm)

The Mash Inn, Horseshoe Road, Bennett End, Radnage HP14 4EB; 01494 482440; themashinn.com

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