Review | Hunter’s Inn, Parracombe
Between the villages of Trentishoe and Martinhoe not far from the North Devon coast, you will find a quintessential English pub called The Hunter’s Inn. Encompassed by the lush, wooded slopes of the Heddon Valley, this lovely characterful pub enjoys a beautiful & idyllic setting.
This time, my youngest daughter and I were invited by Landlord David Orton and Head Chef Justin Dunn to participate in the ‘Venison 5 days 5 ways’ week. So on Friday 13th (not unlucky for us), we dutifully arrived for a wonderful, climactic Exmoor feast.
We were swiftly escorted to our table, situated next to impressive eight feet high bay windows that provide you with a commanding view of the neatly cut lawn and wooded garden beyond. This lovely, picturesque view was a fantastic, added bonus to what was going to be a great night.
After much consideration of the carefully, and thoughtfully constructed menu I chose the Marinated Crispy Chilli Beef served with a Mixed Salad to begin with. Sophie on the other handed opted for the Venison Carpaccio served with Watercress, Parmesan and Balsamic oil. Both of these dishes were really superb and tasted as good as they sounded.
Biting into the succulent strips of chilli beef, your mouth experiences an explosion of flavour accompanied by a pleasant sweet, heat. The leafy salad underneath was also coated with a delightful combo of sweet chilli and the signature, mustard based French dressing. Sophie and I couldn't resist stealing some food from each other’s plates, and we were both in agreement about the quality and appeal of both of these dishes.
Sampling the Venison Carpaccio, I was similarly pleased. 7 lovely, tender slices of Venison gracefully sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, with watercress on the side and a ramekin of Balsamic oil. It was hard to find fault with such a lovely, well presented dish that really did look the business. Surely this is what great cooking is all about.
The main dishes soon arrived after that. Being ‘Venison 5 days 5 ways’ week, I could hardly choose anything but the ‘Char Grilled Local Fillet of Venison served with Wild Mushrooms, Wilted Coz Lettuce, Minted New Potatoes and Creamy Peppercorn Sauce.’ Sophie on the other hand decided on the more uncomplicated, yet eminently inviting ‘Eight Ounce Hunters Inn Beef Burger with Bacon, Cheese, Chunky Chips & Mixed Salad.’
The Char Grilled Venison was succulent, juicy and simply bursting with flavour. The Wild Mushrooms (nine different varieties) that lay underneath, must surely rank as some of the strangest food I have ever eaten, but were nonetheless a great addition to my delicious, chunk of Exmoor Venison. The creamy, peppery sauce tastefully complimented the dish, as did the beautifully soft minted potatoes.
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