DINING OUT: The Elephant and Castle, Hemingfield

Elephant and Castle pub, Hemingfield.

Elephant and Castle pub, Hemingfield.

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They say elephants never forget – and after an exquisite eating experience in Hemingfield this week, we will never forget this Elephant!

After a couple of Sundays spent admiring the menu at the Elephant and Castle, Quentin Quaffer and I decided to book in for Friday fish night at the pub-cum-restaurant on Tingle Bridge Lane.

And I’ll say up front, they served the finest food we have scoffed in a long, long time.

After a warm greeting by staff, our drinks were on order and we were ensconced in the swish “restaurant” portion of the pub – facing a tough choice of fish.

But before the fabulous fish arrived, we had the delectable pleasure of the appetisers.

Quentin had the soup of day – leek and parsnip – which he thought was marvellous, although so thick it was more like a “puree” than a soup. He loved it nonetheless.

But my goat’s cheese parcel was to-die-for. It was a huge whole slice of garlic and rosemary-infused goats cheese, baked in a wrapping of tender smokey bacon with a delicious cranberry drizzle.

It melted in the mouth. It was divine. I could have eaten it three times over.

But then the fresh cod fillet was brought out.

Piled high – like haute cuisine – on a bed of lush lemon mash, it was swimming in a white wine, prawn and dill sauce.

The cod was succulent, the prawns tender and the mash was subtle but superb.

But – while on an eating break – my plate was cleared for me... by Quents!

He had polished off his salmon supreme – baked salmon, mornay cream, asparagus, and sauteed potatoes – but under the misapprehension that his meal ALSO came with mustard mash, decided to pinch what he wrongly thought was his!

Needless to say, he had confused it with the braised bourguignon he had been eyeing, which did have the coveted mash.

With two drinks each, our dinner came to £41.

We cannot recommend the Elephant and Castle highly enough. It’s welcoming, has a great atmosphere and they serve real restaurant haute cuisine – at prices many pubs now charge for mere pub grub.

For those not dining, the good news is this is still a proper pub – with real ale including Old Peculiar on handpump.

If fish night doesn’t float your boat, Tuesday night is pie night, Wednesday is steak night and Thursday’s special is curry.

Saturday boasts a la carte dining with entertainment, while there is a homemade roast on Sundays.

We award this superb hostelry a coveted FIVE stars.

~ Sue