The early months of spring can be a dark and dreary time. It lacks the spontaneity of summer and requires some dedicated planning to ensure the first months of a new year include some action.
So I’ve had some action (I’m exhausted) and during one flurry of activity, on a particularly rainy Saturday afternoon, we chanced upon an unexpectedly exciting Hampshire pub.
The Purefoy is a perfectly formed village pub with the essential log fire, chunky-wood furniture, cosy nooks and crannies and a fat springer spaniel desperate (but denied) to beg at your table.
But as pleasant as all this is, what is really outstanding about The Purefoy is the skill and originality that the Spanish Chef, Andres Alemany has brought to the table. A fantastic array of authentic tapas nibbles precedes the European menu, where locally sourced produce and seasonality leads the way.
Naturally, we felt it our culinary duty to sample most of the tapas: Pata Negra, chorizo, Catalan tomato bread, pork crackling with apple sauce, which we then followed with a combination of starters, main courses and deserts, all richly flavoured and prepared with a precision and care that isn’t often seen.
Grilled razor clam with sherry and onions
I regularly lament the rush that is evident in restaurant food…they know (and so do we) what we want it to be but time ran out. The overriding feeling that The Purefoy evokes, is that fantastic food deserves time, both from the chef and from the diner and that this process, from the moment of preparing the raw ingredient to the savouring of the dish, should never be rushed or half-hearted.
Our experience at The Purefoy was so wholehearted and satisfying that we managed two lingering lunches in 24 hours and thoroughly enjoyed both. The only improvement I could hope for at The Purefoy would be the addition of guest rooms and then the effort of having to drag myself out and reactivate could be gratefully avoided! Perfection!