Peter Mundy at the Ginger Peanut only opened a year ago but this intimate heart-of-the-countryside restaurant with rooms is already gaining a rep as a charming foodie destination, writes Rosanna Rothery
Move over shabby chic. At this rural idyll, ubiquitous ‘rustic’ is rejected in favour of clean lines paired with traditional country motifs. So if you’re looking for somewhere stylish to hold that special celebratory dinner, the Ginger Peanut offers a smart take on refined out-of-town dining. And while the decor could easily grace the cover of a country lifestyle glossy, the menu of seasonal bounty befits its edge-of-Exmoor setting in the ancient village of Bampton.
VISIT FOR an antidote to frazzle and too much seasonal razzle. Low lighting and plush plaid chairs – we’re talking the most comfy dining seats we’ve ever had the pleasure to sink our rears into – will soon have you slowing down to savour a menu that idolises the surrounding landscape. Chef proprietor Peter Mundy’s reverence for the neighbouring moorland is evident in dishes that make the most of venison, pigeon, rib eye steak and wild mushrooms. The desserts, too, are a tasty twist on the classics: the sticky date pudding is a delectable marriage of light sponge and sweetness with a dollop of salty caramel sauce.
DON’T VISIT if you’re after the village pub experience. Smart serving staff and quality tableware elevate less fancy dishes like steak and chips into an occasion.
WE LIKED the ambience. Wood panels, calming duck-egg blue walls and mood lighting make this a lovely space for a special meal. And if you visit with a larger party, the private dining room with swanky velvet seats looks fun.
INSIDER’S TIP watch your Empress Gin cocktail turn from purple to pink before your eyes.
What we ate (dinner)
Starter Panfried pigeon breast, stilton bonbons, crispy pancetta, port reduction
Main Venison loin, Devon mushrooms, dauphinoise potatoes, seasonal greens, celeriac puree
Pud Poached pear, candied walnuts, tonka bean crème brûlée
3 courses from £27.70