The Mash Inn: An English Natural Paradise
What should I expect?
The aim of owner Nick Mash in taking over the 18th-century Three Horseshoes was to give a new lease of life to the place, and revolutionise the very idea of a village inn in the process. You’ll find all the necessary accoutrements of a perfect country pub in the bar. Tradition well and truly breaks down beyond that, with the restaurant featuring modern Scandinavian-style furnishings, including a large communal table, and a fully open kitchen. Diners are welcome to wander into the kitchen and chat with chef Jon Parry as he does wondrous things to local produce cooked over the fire.
What’s my room like?
The five bedrooms above the pub and restaurant feature a clean design of bleached wood and muted greys, enlivened with details of the pub’s signature motif, the pineapple. Roberts radios, organic Swedish toiletries and Hypnos mattresses take comfort levels to ‘supreme’. Room 2 is a winner, with slipper bath, super-king-size bed and views out over fields and hills.
What am I eating?
An ambitious tasting menu is the main attraction here, with nine dishes emerging one by one from Jon’s kitchen with a high sense of excited anticipation. The menu changes according to what’s in season, but diners can expect such unusual and accomplished dishes as game doughnuts with Berkswell cheese and scallops served in the shell. It’s worth staying a second night to sample dishes from the a la carte menu – the rib of beef, charred by the flames of the open fire, was the best we’d had in a very longtime.
What’s in the neighbourhood?
There are plenty of options for countryside and village ambles from the doorstep of the Mash Inn. A 10-minute drive away are the Hell-Fire Caves, allegedly home to meetings of the Hell-Fire Club, a notoriously debauched high-society dub established in 1718.