The Cotswolds is absolutely teeming with new pubs at the moment, canny landlords bringing so many run down and abandoned hostelries back to life.
And The Sherborne Arms is no different, the latest acquisition of the much lauded Peter Creed and Tom Noest, who already have The Bell at Langford, The Lamb in Shipton, The Fox at Broadwell and The Little Bell at Soho Farmhouse.
‘Peter Creed and Tom Noest have once again proved that while eating should always a serious matter, it can also be a lot of fun’
We’re big fans, The Lamb at Shipton Under Wychwood a particular favourite READ OUR REVIEW HERE, proving that Peter and Tom know their audience; a discerning crowd who enjoy historic pubs, laidback hospitality and some incredible but nostalgic food.
The Sherborne Arms is no different and dates back to the 1700s. Derelict for the past three years, the duo took it over and began renovations in March. And since opening this summer, their loyal followers have been flocking.
Not that it’s easy to find mind, perched in Northleach on the Oxfordshire/Gloucestershire border right at the back of the Market Square.
But inside, their trademark green walls, wooden floors, chalk boards and reassuring welcome are all that’s needed to make you feel at home.
There is a tiny, sunny courtyard out the back where we sat and ate a simple but stunning lunch, opting for lots of sharing plates rather than the traditional starter, mains and dessert format.
a slice of their dark flourless Valrhona chocolate cake with salt crystals literally defied belief. Happy, happy days
Tempted by specials such as the ‘Ploughman’s for two’, scampi and tartare, duck rillettes with pickles and toast, or the smoked eel, celeriac remoulade with salad, we stuck to our guns.
Asparagus to start because it was early summer and in season (I know but you can’t rush these things), and the Cotswold 3.8 Rarebit which came with pickles and soldiers (literal squeal!)
It felt so decadent scooping up that delicious gooey cheese mix, but worth every gorging calorie. My nursery food was never that good! And as all their ingredients are as locally sourced as possible, everything is so fresh it zings.
Take the tomato panzanella salad with burrata – the bread soaking up all those Italian juices, and then an incredible plate of mixed courgettes with pine nuts, a delicate blue cheese and some lemony dressing.
We also snuck in a plate of the venison lasagna, because hell why not – pasta, game, and sauce, what’s not to like? Just like a proper ragu, it was as rich and deep in flavour as you’d expect from these game fans.
Come autumn and winter The Sherborne Arms will come into its own in a whole different way
Then coffee and a slice of their dark flourless Valrhona chocolate cake with salt crystals, which literally defied belief. Happy, happy days.
And as we sat back satiated, happy and chilled, watching the groups around us laugh, drink wine, eat and generally enjoy themselves, we realised that Peter Creed and Tom Noest have once again proved that while eating should always a serious matter, it can also be a lot of fun.
Come autumn and winter The Sherborne Arms will come into its own in a whole different way, but in the meantime get down to The Sherborne Arms, sit back and enjoy.
The Sherborne Arms, Market Square, Northleach https://www.thesherbornenorthleach.com