Pubs nowadays have to keep up with competition from chain restaurants or risk closing. Pubs are quite often the centre of the community – especially small villages such as Eynsford in Kent, and it is a shame to see them close down.
This year The Plough in Eynsford closed for two weeks to undergo a makeover and update its tired interior. I was invited to the relaunch to sample the new menu and see the difference a new lick of paint and new interior design had made.
The layout of the pub has been kept much the same but the interior has been given an update with cosy autumnal colours and furnishings.
For starters we had deep-fried brie in panko breadcrumbs with chutney, Thyme-roasted portobello mushrooms in Cropwell Bishop sauce with rustic toast, and lobster and king prawn pot in Devon crab creme fraiche with toasted ciabatta bread.
For main course we had pan-fried sea bass fillet with parmentier potatoes, panchetta, olives, spinach and white wine veloute, and roasted rack of lamb with aubergine, roasted sweet peppers, potato dauphinoise, and red wine jus.
The food was lovely and fresh with great flavour and the makeover has made the pub a nice place to sit on a dark winter evening.
The next evening, I was enticed back for the official relaunch party. Guests were given drink vouchers on the door, which could be redeemed for prosecco or beer at the bar, or at the Tanqueray gin station where you could customise your G&T with lime, orange, rose petals and maraschino cherries. We sampled canapés of deep-fried brie, salt and szechuan pepper squid and aioli and lamb koftas.