I remember with great fondness the evening in which I dined at Tom Kerridge’s gastro pub, The Hand in Flowers located in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. It is with thanks again to the BBC’s Great British Menu program that Tom came to our attention. Having saved up our pennies for a special occasion my fiancée I made our way out of London to a delightful B&B in Marlow before changing for dinner and heading out with such excitement to The Hand and Flowers.
It was certainly no disappointment. Both my fiancée and I had the Crayfish Scotch Egg, followed by Slow Cooked Duck with Duck Fat Chips. I pushed the boat out and also ordered his Raspberry Soufflé which left my partner drooling! I must say the entire meal was just to die for! From the delightful presentation of cute buckets, and small copper pans and wooden boards in the warm and welcoming down to earth rustic pub environment, to the utterly melt in the mouth Michelin star food prepared by Tom himself. His menu boasts everyday food with a creative inventive twist cooked to perfection. I could not fault one single thing, and I swear to this day that desert was the best desert I have ever had. And I’ve tried a few, and in fancy restaurants too, none even come close.
If you are not familiar with Tom Kerridge he became a skilled chef working as a commis chef at the Calcot Manor then going on to sous chef for Gary Rhodes and the Odettes restaurant in London. Moving around various restaurants, and rubbing shoulders with many other well known and respected chefs, he worked his way up to head chef finishing at the Adlands in Norwich before he and his wife Beth opened their own gastro pub, The Hand and Flowers in 2005. The following year he had gained his first Michelin star and acclaimed his second in 2012, becoming the first pub to ever hold two Michelin stars! Interestingly, as a teenager he had expressed an interest in theatre and acting and even held a few small parts in television shows, but thank the goodness for our stomachs and taste buds at the age of 18 he decided to follow his passion for cooking into a very successful career.
Click for The Hand and Flowers website