A proper pub in the Chiltern Hills that’s big on foraging, fermenting and pickling
“Hospitality for grown ups” is the mission statement of this restaurant with rooms housed in a charming 18th century inn with gorgeous views of the Chiltern Hills. Named after owner Nick Mash, The Mash Inn is a bucolic bolthole for Londoners to escape the stress and strife of life sans kids (there’s a strict over 16s policy).
Headed up by chef Jon Parry, the restaurant is central to the unwinding process, serving modern British food, much of which is grown on the grounds and cooked over a huge wood-fired grill in the open kitchen. Most diners start with a drink in the dinky bar at the front, complete with stained glass window and flagstone floors, before heading through to the bright dining room, which has French windows looking out over the beautiful landscape.
Interaction with the chefs is encouraged – you are introduced to them on your way in and shown round the kitchen – with Parry happy to explain how foraging, fermenting and pickling informs his cooking. Choose between the three-course or tasting menus and expect dishes full of seasonal flavours. Cured muntjac with pickled blackberries and sorrel (all sourced within a mile of the inn) could be followed by a charred tranche of Cornish brill still smoking from the fire.
Finish with poached rhubarb and rice pudding and one of the house digestifs. They’re made by infusing spirits with foraged herbs and flowers, and will help you blot out the rat race for just a little longer.