Tom Kerridge, the formerly large but now slimmed down chef who owns The Hand & Flowers – the much garlanded and 2 Michelin starred posh pub in Marlow – has done it again.
In response to 6+ month waiting lists, he has recently opened The Coach, another posh pub in Marlow, but this time with a no-booking policy.
I was lucky enough to go there – and get in – last week, to celebrate my wife’s birthday. With her, obviously. And what a great experience it was.
One of Tom’s disciples, Nick Beardshaw, runs the show at The Coach….and we feel we know him intimately now, because we watched his every move for a few hours from the bar stools, just a couple of feet away from where he orchestrated his brigade in the open kitchen.
The concept is small portions of classic British food, cooked exceptionally well – sometimes with a twist – and all delivered with excellent, friendly service.
We enjoyed superbly judged versions of Caesar salad, potted shrimps, venison chilli, chicken Kiev with maple glazed squash and a plum fool. But quite honestly we could have grazed our greedy way through the whole menu, it was so interesting and – from very close quarters – looked as satisfying as anything we had eaten at The Hand & Flowers a couple of years ago.
Make sure you get there early to avoid disappointment – or a long wait – and I’d really recommend sitting at the bar stools, rather than the more cramped conventional tables, for a bit of culinary theatre along with exceptional food.
£30 for 1 large Bloody Mary, 2 capuccinos and 2 very nice glasses of wine.
£40 for the food.
£70 total bill. Not cheap for tapas-style food sitting at stools in a pub, but well worth it to keep Gill happy on her birthday.