Page 53 - Poole Audi Feast Magazine Edition 2
P. 53

The King John
This really is the right royal home of hunting shooting and  shing. Albeit Royal in name, The King John is eminently rustic in nature, this is a real pub!
However you make your way to The King John (there are plenty of patrons from London, and plenty of patrons from Sandbanks), you will travel through the very countryside that chef uses as his larder.
There is no favourable time to visit, as winter delights of open  res and freshly shot game are o set in the summer months by seafood, salads, and al fresco dining.
Under relatively new management, and one that has a con dence that is really attractive, The King John can cater for a couple of pints of local beer with friends after an overload of Dorset and Wiltshire fresh air, equally as well as it caters for a celebration of the highest calibre with  ne dining and wines to match.
Set deep in the countryside, The King John is a worthy reward after a 30-minute drive from Poole. One will usually  nd John (the landlord rather than the King) behind the bar o ering advice on the menu, specials, imported draft beer, the wine list, and the general state of play in the area.
Feast dined on a crisp winter’s evening and delighted at the candlelit ambiance of the Victorian surroundings. Despite its woodland environment there is a preponderance of fresh seafood on the menu, including what we consider to be the signature starters of Portland crab on toast and plump moules marinière. The King George is everything one would expect from a gastro pub of the very highest standards, service is e cient and every dish consistently good.
Nothing is too much trouble and the haddock chilli  shcakes from the starter menu are enjoyed as a main course alongside a twice-baked Westcombe Cheddar cheese sou é with a generous salad and perfectly cooked fries, accompanied by a bottle of 2014 Kudu Plains Chenin Blanc at just under £20.
Locals pop in, guests staying in any one of the eight bedrooms leisurely enjoy dinner, as diners chat and we consider desserts.
The ginger ale sticky to ee pudding is delightfully naughty and the white chocolate mousse light and delicate. A glass of Chateau Delmond Sauternes rounds o  a classic English countryside evening.
We leave to a frost, with full tummies, having made new friends and wishing we had booked to stay – this is a real gem and a must dine/stay on the Feast tour.
01725 516207
The King John Inn, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, SP5 5PS

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