|Can you spot Sam the dog?|
Umami from last time I was here. Both were completely wonderful.
Marvellous home made pork crackling crackers too. I have to reiterate; this 'feeling' is a rarity outside of Michelin star restaurants, (and even in it), and you can't choose it, it's just involuntary, like a massive 'mmmmm' sound in your inner monologue. At least I try not to make that noise on my own anyway. It might have alarmed the sweet old couple dining silently behind me.
Then came another unordered treat; Home cured Bowland Ox Tongue & garlic butter and damson. Soft, sumptuous and simply stunning.
To follow the Crab Parfait. Like the Mushroom Parfait, I don't know how she makes it so creamy and smooth, the texture and flavour are like no other I've tried. It's the very essence of crab.
For mains I had the Venison Pasta, earthy, rich and comforting. I tried to save Mrs Bacon some of this but I couldn't stop, and left her the tiniest portion ever. Still, it's the thought that counts eh? I liked this dish, but didn't love it quite as much as the smaller starters. But that's the way I like to eat - trying lots of smaller tapas size dishes in big variety. Also, I really fancied the cheese tart but thought that would be an unadventurous choice. Knowing Stosie's cooking, it would have been fabulous.
Speaking with Stosie later I asked her why didn't she do a taster menu? She'd thought of it already and is hoping to introduce a gold card system where regular food tourists and fans of her cooking pay a nominal fee (£25?) and can come in and get a taster menu of whatever's good in season - and how much they want to pay. So for instance, if you have a budget of £25 per head to spend you just get that amount of food brought out, the more you spend the more you get obviously. Sounds ideal to me. The majority of their local traditional clientèle are not likely to choose this option - they just come in for two or three courses - but for food obsessives like me (and hopefully you reading this), it's absolutely perfect. I love the smaller plates/tapas part of the meal most of all, as I did last time. I finished off with a gorgeously exquisite chocolate fondant.
Chatting over a coffee with Stosie, AJ (and Kathy), I could have listened to them talk about the industry and restaurants for hours. One good thing I took from it personally was that a few people have gone to The Parkers after reading my earlier review. If this website has not achieved anything else, to help spread the word about her magical cooking is an achievement of sorts I guess. So if you want an escape from the sheer mundanity of life and you love food as much as I do, a trip out to The Parkers Arms is just the ticket, it certainly lifted my spirits anyway.
Atmosphere: Cosy Country pub.
Star dish: Crab Parfait.
Soundtrack: Occassional Rain - Terry Callier.
See my earlier review here.
To see the photos in high resolution see here.