We've eaten here before and love the confident 18th-century style of the place, like being invited into imperial club-land - big polished tables with no table-cloths, lots of candles, warm terracotta walls covered with black and white prints of the period. Although it's in a basement it feels spacious and intimately grand, swimming with light. An excellent female maître d' welcomes you, and then the delights unfold - a short but interesting menu of mouth-watering modern English food, fresh and locally sourced, from which we chose 3 starters (could not bear to choose only 2), smoked haddock and barley fritters with pea-shoots, cheese soufflé, and grilled mackerel with horse-radish and beetroot, all tasty and delicious with interesting 'in the mouth' textures, then husband had steak with garlic butter, thrice-fried chips and a fresh, piquant green salad with pomegranate, while I had locally caught sea-bass, then we shared a dark chocolate pudding with black cherries and sour cream. Last time we were here, 2 weeks ago, the chef was new and the menu felt tentative, but this time she had really hit her stride and the food was memorably good and inventive. Portion size just right for this hard-working and often hungry person - ie no '2 crumbs and a twirl of jus on a plate.' We had a fabulous evening and sent our compliments to the chef.
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