Is this Hampshire's poshest pub?

Gordon Stott is the award-winning chef behind The Purefoy Arms in Preston Candover, Hampshire

Gordon Stott is the award-winning chef behind The Purefoy Arms in Preston Candover - Credit: The Purefoy Arms

It’s not very often that you turn up to a country pub and they hand you a tasting menu, but then The Purefoy Arms in Preston Candover isn’t your usual country pub, and chef patron, Gordon Stott, isn’t your usual country chef.

With a reputation as one of the UK's most exciting and talented young chefs, Gordon’s food is multi-award winning. The most recent accolade being ‘Pub Chef of the Year 2017’ at the prestigious Craft Guild of Chefs Awards (the Chef’s Oscars to you and I).

A posh fish finger at the Purefoy Arms in Preston Candover, Hampshire

The 'fish finger' was not like one you'd find stuck in the back of the freezer - Credit: Elizabeth Kirby

Gordon’s classics are indeed that, with Beef Burger, Beer Battered Haddock and Braised BBQ Whole Rack of Ribs enticing hungry travellers; but the unlikeliness of Black Pudding Stuffed Chicken Ballotine and ‘Fish Finger’ Breaded Plaice, Pea and Bacon Succotash really does raise the eyebrows.

I am sure the locals can spot a passer-by a mile off. They’re used to Gordon’s extravagant menu, and rejoice in it as far as we could see during our visit. But for an outsider, The Purefoy Arms offers up surprising delight after surprising delight.

Crab starter at The Purefoy Arms in Preston Candover, Hampshire

The crab starter was vibrant and colourful - Credit: Elizabeth Kirby

You know a place has got their food right when gasps and ‘oh wows’ come out upon dish delivery, and we were oohing and ahhing as if at a fireworks display. And when the 'Lemon Meringue' dessert arrived, it looked more like a model of Wembley Stadium than something you would put in your mouth. 

For those that struggle to choose off the main menu, Gordon has created a tasting menu full of the delicious courses for a full seasonal flavour of what he and his team can offer. With snacks, starters, mains, desserts and cheese all for £52, this is incredible value for money. 

The lemon meringue pudding at The Purefoy Arms in Preston Candover, Hampshire

The lemon meringue pudding was akin to Wembley Stadium - Credit: Elizabeth Kirby

Gordon and his team really do put a lot of time and effort into creating dishes that look good as well as taste phenomenal. And when it comes to the drinks menu, the local flavours continue with Hampshire made Coates and Seeley fizz, Hattingley Valley and Chapel Down all making an appearance. It's clear to see that The Purefoy Arms are as rooted in the Hampshire soil as the ingredients they use in their dishes. 

This friendly little pub consistently bring out the bangers, and when it comes to bright sparks, we’re sure Gordon’s kitchen is well and truly on fire.

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