Miller of Mansfield (Gourmet Chick in Oxfordshire)

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The Miller of Mansfield in the picturesque village of Goring on Thames was voted by Red magazine as one of the “Ten sexiest places to stay in the UK“, what’s more the restaurant is reported to serve excellent British fare. It seemed the perfect place for a weekend away with MTV boyfriend. In the sexiness stakes the rooms were furnished with plasma televisions, Molton Brown toiletries and luxurious bath tubs. So far, so good. We eagerly awaited our reservation for dinner at 8pm.

Although the Miller of Mansfield is a quaint old pub the decor in the dining room is modern and white with banquette seating and contemporary art. Amuse bouches of shot glasses filled with pea and mint soup and topped with a mint foam were provided to begin. Our waitress warned us that they were hot, and choosing of course to ignore her I discovered they were served at scalding temperature. This was a clever tactic by the Miller of Mansfield as for the rest of the night I took everything our waitress said as gospel. Entrees of vine roasted tomato soup and salad of beetroot, goats cheese and walnut were both flavoursome and satisfying. The presentation of the salad was somewhat hilarious or disturbing (depending which way you want to look at it) as it was artistically scattered over the plate to resemble an edible version of a Jackson Pollock painting however I could not fault it on taste.

As a main MTV boyfriend had the “Pork three ways” this comprised servings of pork belly, pork boudin noir and ham hock lined up on a slim rectangular platter. The presentation was overly fussy in the vein of my Pollockesque salad and it seemed like the chef was trying a bit too hard at times. I had the roasted cod (pictured) which was served with a pea risotto, pea puree and quail eggs (clearly there were a surfeit on peas in Goring on Thames). Nevertheless, the cod was excellent. It was succulent but still light and perfectly complemented by the creamy risotto.

Desserts were very good. White chocolate mousse was served in three small scoops nestled on top of squares of crunchy praline and fresh stawberries. The chocolate mousse was feathery light and it was difficult to bring myself to part with even a taste for MTV boyfriend. Baked vanilla cheesecake was smooth and creamy however it was let down somewhat by its accompaniment of frozen berries (in fairness the menu did warn of “iced summer fruits”).

We enjoyed our meal, however it must be said that the best part about it was being able to head upstairs once we were finished.

Details: High Street, Goring on Thames, Reading, RG89AW (Ph 01491 872 829)

Damage: Pricey

7/10

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