The Bell Inn restaurant in the village of Hornden-on-the-Hill
Gosh has it been a whole month since I last posted ? I do have a valid excuse, D and I just got back from a 17 day spectacular eating holiday, starting in the UK for a few days, and then on to Venice, Verona, Florence and Rome.
I think I’m going to limit my post lengths and share eating experience by eating experience rather than by destination. That way I can relive and savour the memories 🙂
Our trip started off visiting D’s family in the UK. Lots of pub lunches and dinners, with one standing out in particular, at the Bell Inn, a 15th century Coaching Inn, which was conveniently just up the road from my mum in-law’s house in the village of Horden-on-the-Hill.
There’s so much history in this quaint pub (although no-one could explain to me how the tradition of hanging a hot cross bun on the beam in front of the bar began) that you can read about here.
We ate dinner in the restaurant, voted in the Sunday Times 2010 Food list one of the 10 best gastropubs in the UK. They source for local produce and I love that I am looking at this week’s menu and it’s already changed from when we ate there just a few weeks ago.
Pan-fried mackerel with cornish crab cake and coriander and red onion marmalade
I started with pan-fried mackerel with Cornish crab cake and a coriander and red onion marmalade. Mackerel is such a lovely oily fish and having cooked it myself, I know that the crispy bits around the edges are not necessarily from additional oil, but simply the oils in the fish, and the stronger flavour of this complemented the delicate taste and texture of the crab “cake”. The coriander and red onion marmalade just balanced everything out with a burst of freshness.
Suckling pig on creamed corn mash with potato mash and crispy pancetta
For mains I had the suckling pig that came on a creamed corn mash with an sage and onion jus. My only complaint with this was that there was very little crackling ! Otherwise, you can’t really go wrong with suckling pig, can you ? My first ever creamed corn mash and it made for a lovely sweet accompaniment to the pork.
Dessert was a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds – a caramel parfait with spun sugar. D and opted to share something light, but we did have food envy for the other couples on our table who ordered a sampler plate of all the desserts, which included a dark chocolate fondant which was an easy winner.
Perfect dinner – thanks again for the treat M and B !
The Bell Inn
Essex SS17 8LD
Tel: +44 1375 642463
Check out their website there’s also recommendations on nearby places to visit.