IT takes a certain confidence to offer a very select menu, but such confidence is not misplaced at The Cottage Tavern in Ashorne.
Far too many eateries these days offer daunting attempts at cater-for-all menus, which can run to pages. When the diner has finally made their choice they are all too often left disappointed, simply because the skills of the kitchen are stretched rather than focused.
That is not a problem at The Cottage Tavern which is very much focused on playing to its strengths under chef Ryan Davies, who was trained at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Academy where he was awarded ‘Apprentice of the Year’.
The recently revamped village pub offers a handful of starters, mains and desserts displayed on a daily changing blackboard menu. Add to this a three-course Sunday lunch and a regular Thursday steak night.
‘Locally sourced’ and ‘finest ingredients’ are phrases liberally used, but that is very much the plain reality at The Cottage Tavern, and long may it continue.
And as well as quality, diners can also expect value for money, from chicken-packed home made pies to brimming bowlfuls of risotto accompanying perfectly-cooked sea bass. It is a menu which is both hearty and heart-warming.
The menu is complemented by an equally select, but carefully chosen, wine menu.
The pub was taken over by Tim Sidwell and Mark Williams in May. Having both worked in the industry for many years they decided it was time to launch their own venture. A brave move considering the industry was still suffering more than most as a result of the pandemic.
But undeterred they re-decorated, re-designed the garden and transformed the cellar.
The result is a subtle mix of gastro pub and traditional village pub. Villagers drop in for a drink and a chat and word of mouth regarding the food is already attracting people from further afield.
The pub industry has been having a rough time in recent years – even before the pandemic – but the future for The Cottage Tavern is certainly looking up.
As Mark said: “We are delighted to have brought our experience and passion to The Cottage Tavern and revitalised a tired village pub.
“It’s been our aim to make the local community and the wider area proud and to give everyone a pub they can love whether its popping in for a half pint of ale or enjoying a three-course meal.”
Visit www.thecottagetavern.co.uk for further details.