This venture - part of the Olive Inns group – is split over two venues on opposite sides of a village street, with six luxury rooms for guests in Beech House and The Olive Branch offering gourmet pub food and drink on the other. The Olive Branch strives for a genuine country pub atmosphere with a high-class slant – appearance-wise looking as welcoming and comfortable as any similar establishment, with small touches (panels from the sides of champagne boxes, restaurant-style design touches, an overall air of high upkeep) making diners realise that while they’ll be welcome here for a few drinks and a chat they’re also able to get some of the best food and hospitality that the area has to offer.
Michelin-starred since 2002, and making full use of the best local ingredients, The Olive Branch is unpretentious and comfortable. The food is comforting, hearty and good value; and with chestnuts at winter and barbecues in the summer the villagey feel is not lost, despite the fine dining edge.
Comfortably furnished and decorated in vintage chic style, it’s easy to imagine whiling away hours here – with people who live locally, and more who travel from miles around, doing just that. A number of options are available, including private dining for special occasions and a number of season-specific events.
The food manages to blend home comfort with a dazzling fine-dining twist. Choices are extensive and range from nibbles and sharing plates – including a tapas board which provides precisely the kind of thing you might be looking for with a good few pints of the bar’s ale.
Elsewhere, familiar and robustly-flavoured dishes like roast tomato soup with pesto are contrasted by dishes like seared scallops, quince puree and seared salsify; and while the main courses do include fish and chips, sausage and mash and steak, more elaborate and inventive combinations (for example, monkfish with curried lentils).