For lunch today, we visited The Hurdles, a small pub/restaurant in Droxford. It was pretty busy for a Wednesday lunchtime, which is always a good sign. They offered us an a la carte menu, a set menu and a baguette menu, so there was plenty of choice. I went for the mussels (surprise surprise) with cider, apples, leeks and creme fraiche, Ian opted for the scallops of the day which came on a ham rilette with a buttery sauce and we also went for the black pudding with blue cheese and apple to share. My mussels were good, although they'd not done a very good job of de-bearding them which was a little disappointing, but the sauce was good, and it was nice to have something different to white wine and cream. Ian's scallops were good, but he said that there was something in the rilette he didn't like, possibly mustard, and that the flavour of the rilette was a bit too overpowering for the scallops. Ian manage to distract me with mussels, so he ate most of the third starter, but I had enough to tell you what I thought. The black pudding and apple was really good, but the blue cheese was just too smelly and cheesy for me (I'm not a blue cheese fan) and I felt the flavour lasted too long compared to the other flavours. The texture of the blue cheese was good though, nice and creamy.
For mains, I went for the pork belly, with roast potatoes and red apple chutney. Ian chose the sea bass which came on a bed of crushed new potatoes, crab and watercress, with lemon roasted fennel. My pork was melt in the mouth good, it was the kind of good where you have to make someone else try it just so you can make 'ooh' and 'aah' noises together. Ian didn't seem to mind helping with that at all! The chutney had a nice hint of cinnamon (which I recently discovered I didn't hate - it was the nutmeg all along!) and the gravy was nice and rich. The crackling wasn't completely crispy, but was very tasty. Ian was a bit disappointed with his potatoes, as it was more new potato mash than crushed potatoes and it seems like there was some spring onion in there somewhere. I had three massive roast potatoes though, so I gave him half of them so he didn't go hungry. His fish was very moist and flavoursome, and the asparagus was nicely cooked. Ian wasn't sure he liked fennel but it turned out he did, and apparently so do I!
After we'd finished our mains, they asked if we'd like dessert. We've missed out on dessert so far this week, so I thought it was about time I got one, so I opted for the lemon posset, which came with berries and shortbread. The shortbread was crumbly and buttery. The posset lemony and the berries tart.
So, food wise, I'd definitely recommend this place. The only thing I'd do differently if it was my restaurant would be to tell the one waitress that her voice was too loud for her to complain about the rubbish tips the customer just left her and that she should also stop making a mountain out of a molehill (she kept apologising to all the customers because it was crazy busy - when there wasn't really any wait between courses and noone was even complaining!)