Restaurant review, Bartons Mill Restaurant

Claire Pitcher visited Old Basing and discovered a restaurant tucked away near the village's famous house

Claire Pitcher visited Old Basing and discovered a restaurant tucked away near the village’s famous house

I’ve been to The Millstone pub in Old Basing quite a few times, but I am ashamed to say that I hadn’t even noticed Bartons Mill Restaurant was right next door. I was even more shocked to find out from restaurant manager Manoleto Quintella that the restaurant was here first.As you walk in you would be mistaken for thinking that you’re in a museum – as in front of you is the fully working water wheel. Nearly as impressive is the lovely lounge area complete with real fire, comfy seats and bar, perfect for a pre or post dinner tipple.

In keepingThe restaurant is upstairs and while not quite as cosy as the lounge, is very tasteful, with lots of original features. Manoleto showed us to our table and left us to peruse the extensive a la carte menu. Five lovely starters to choose from included pea and Hampshire watercress soup with Parma ham croutons (�5.75) and wild mushroom ravioli, garlic cream and melted gruyere cheese (�7.95). We decided to go straight for the main course, as from looking at the desserts it was going to be imperative we leave room.We both fancied the fillet steak, served with tarragon and shallot butter on a pea puree (�21.75). Cooked medium to perfection, the steak melted in the mouth as well as the butter. I wasn’t sure about putting pea puree with steak (I imagine it sitting better with lamb) but it was the perfect accompaniment – along with the side order of fresh carrots, sugar snap peas and dauphinoise potatoes. All washed down with a glass of Castle Creek Shiraz from Australia (�15.50 a bottle).

Fabulous fondantOn to dessert and it had to be the chocolate fondant with yoghurt sorbet and English cherries (�5.95). Breaking through the sponge with the fork it made a satisfying crunch and the yummy gooey sauce spilled out piping hot – this was chocolate heaven. Other desserts to choose from included caramelized apple tart tatin with vanilla ice cream (�6.95) and lemon posset with summer berries and spiced shortbread (�5.95).Manoleto tried to persuade us to stay in the lounge for some of those post dinner drinks I mentioned earlier – and it was tempting – considering it was below freezing outside; but I was driving – so we promised to return and pre book a taxi next time.

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Bartons Mill RestaurantBartons Lane, Old BasingBasingstoke  RG24 8AETel. 01256

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