Don’t you just hate human error?
This was our second visit to the Freemasons at Wiswell. Having sampled the excellent Sunday lunch last year we decided to head back on what is a bit of a special date for me and B.
Full of anticipation we jumped in the car and headed out in to the dark night. Meandering through the dark country lanes until we reached the tiny village of Wiswell. It’s obvious you’re in the right place given the number of cars parked in the tight lanes. Turn the corner and there sits the inn. Lights glowing from the interior, beautifully lit from the outside, the three former cottages immediately look inviting.
This welcome extends once you’re inside. Friendly staff showed us through the seemingly simple, mis-matched furniture to the bar area. This is surprisingly small and suggests that it is only really meant for a holding area before seating. Not sure I’d feel comfortable just stopping by for a pint. That said, it is clearly a destination venue.
Menu perused we opted to eat a la carte and both started with wild mushrooms on toast with a fried egg. Admittedly, this showed a lack of Ranulph Fiennes adventurousness from us, but the earthy mushrooms had been given a hint of vinegar and combined with the luscious egg yolk made for a great starter.
Next up, different paths. B opted for the rib-eye steak. Now this may seem equally as on piste as the starter but this was a big thing. B doesn’t often eat steak when we’re out. Now listen here reader, I was more than a tiny bit jealous when I saw the steak arrive. Didn’t last long though. My main of Anna’s Happy Trotters looked ace. We’d both ordered chips to accompany. My main was tremendous. Salty gammon, wonderfully moist roast loin and a smooth, velvety black pudding puree. All contrasted with some sweet chunks of roasted pineapple and a delicious “pork pie” sauce. B enjoyed her steak a lot but not having been born with the same ridiculous appetite as myself, she was unable to finish it. Now, with said appetite still in place and in the interests of fair comment, I thought I’d help out. The steak, as you might expect was perfectly seasoned and cooked, slightly overcooked for me personally but exactly what B had asked for.
I should perhaps point out that there was wine. I am no wine expert – as you may be aware, but the couple of glasses of 2011 Incayal Malbec that I slurped were incredible. Fruity and chocolatey.
If we’d have left at this point it would have been a perfect evening.
B opted not to have a dessert but instead had a coffee and some of the handmade treats. A couple each of a pistachio chocolate and a rum and raisin ganache.
I went for REG’s Duck Egg. Essentially rhubarb and custard. What could go wrong. When it turned up it was stunning to look at, one of the prettiest desserts I’ve seen in a while. I tried a piece of the rhubarb. It was incredibly tart. Like, toe curlingly tart. The rhubarb puree also had an odd taste. Almost salty. These are actually only minor grumbles, because when eaten with the custard tart it did kinda work. So then I dived into the rhubarb baked alaska. I was really looking forward to this. Only a week earlier having lamented that I’d not had one in years. Big mouthful deposited I knew there shouldn’t be something hard in there. Disappointingly I removed a large piece of solid clear plastic from my mouth. Having informed our waitress we were given the explanation that sometimes these things just happen. I do accept this and the price of the dessert was not added to the bill. However the apology seemed a little practiced and not uncommon. I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve not really experienced too many incidents like this but I think when they do occur a better explanation and perhaps the offer of a replacement dessert wouldn’t have gone amiss.
I still really like the Freemasons at Wiswell.
Just a shame about that stray piece of plastic. Still, no-one choked I suppose.
The surroundings are amazing, the welcome is warm, the beers on offer were very good and if you like your wine, the list here will keep you entertained for a good while. Aside from the error the food is also incredible. Gorgeous to look at and delicious to taste. B has a bit of a fear of choking but if I can convince her, I’m sure we’ll be back.