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The Chequers Inn, Hanham Mills Review 25th January 2018

braised ox cheek with oak smoked cheddar mac and cheese with red _onion jam
The Chequers Inn at Hanham Mills has undergone a complete makeover and it looks great. Overlooking the river at Hanham Mills it’s always been the pub everyone thinks of on a glorious summer’s evening but this recent revamp proves that it can be just as enticing when the nights are dark, the wind whistles over the river and the pretty terraces are empty. It’s a proper country pub; there are treats on the bar for your four-legged friend, a warm welcome, and a wood burning stove which sees to it that the fragrant smell of wood smoke lingers over the bar.

Shown to a table for two beside the window looking out over the river, we took up the offer of trying a new craft lager from the Camden Town Brewery,  which was light but fully flavoured, just the thing before a meal. We looked through the menu and as well as starters there were two sharing platters, one of which I just knew somehow my husband would talk me into sharing : Chequers butcher’s board – scotch egg, sausage roll, pigs in blankets, crisp pork belly bites, apple sauce and skinny fries. It had terrific appeal but I wondered if we would last the course afterwards!
The Chequers Inn, Hanham Mills Review 
There was a good and inventive choice of main courses, Somerset brie and cranberry stuffed chicken caught my eye, plus steaks and burgers from the grill and a choice of vegetarian dishes. We decided on braised ox cheek with oak smoked cheddar mac and cheese with red onion jam, and grilled kippers with saffron spiced rice and poached hen’s egg. Decisions made we settled back for a relaxing chat; the dining room is charming dominated by the wood burning stove with two tall candle sticks glowing either side and an eclectic mix of pictures on the walls.

Our butcher’s board arrived and took up most of our table, groaning with everything you love to eat but know you shouldn’t! The Scotch egg was excellent and as it happened to be Burns Night when we visited it had been prepared with haggis instead of sausage meat – an inspired invention. We made a pretty good job of demolishing it, right down to the fries and greatly enjoyed dipping the belly of pork bites in the apple sauce.

We loved our main courses which looked as splendid as the starter, the kippers atop the delicately perfumed saffron rice were delightful; and my braised ox cheek was rich and succulent, served in a large bowl topped with the cheddar mac. We were somewhat flagging in the full-up department but managed to share a Bramley and apple crumble with custard which finished the meal beautifully. Service was faultless, the meal was excellent value and we thoroughly approve of the new look Chequers Inn.
Jacquie Vowles
The Chequers Inn, Hanham Mills Review 

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