Intrepid foodies (those brave enough to navigate the wiggly roads of Hartland on a wild winter night) are rewarded with a smorgasbord of sensual delights at Pattard Kitchen, discovers Rosanna Rothery
Since opening a year ago, chef Bjorn Moen’s milking-parlour-turned-Scandi-chic-restaurant has gained a reputation for eclectic, creative cuisine served in the laid-back atmosphere of a farmyard barn.
VISIT for dishes that are artfully plated with Nordic flair, concealing delightful contrasts and surprises. The plump sweetness of a fig and red onion tart starter becomes utterly beguiling with the addition of sharp goat’s cheese ice cream.
A blade of beef with mash, carrot, mushrooms and shallots warms, soothes and delights. Pudding is a deeply, darkly and densely chocolatey affair: a soft delice, intensified with burnt white chocolate, zesty passionfruit sorbet and the crunch of chocolate soil.
Taking more than your fair share is a table crime, we admit, but try resisting crackers, breadsticks, rolls and sourdough slathered with homemade seaweed butter. Not to mention between-course miniature morsels such as cucumber sushi.
DON’T VISIT for urban cool; the vibe is charmingly rural. The restaurant has a sustainable farm-to-fork philosophy (making the most of the smallholding’s pigs, turkeys, chickens, polytunnel and ancient orchard whenever it can). Quirky ingredients such as electric daisies or Chilean guavas from nearby Tapeley Park’s permaculture garden occasionally make guest appearances on the menu.
WE LIKED the pared-back decor that nods to Bjorn’s Norwegian ancestry: an exposed original elm beam, benches adorned with a Viking scroll, industrial lighting and an open window onto the (very calm) working kitchen.