If youve been to The Culpeper, youll know exactly what to expect from its nearby sibling The Buxton, a Victorian pub converted into a casual restaurant with bedrooms. There arent many interior traces of the old boozer it used to be, though it has been well and truly millennialised with pastel colours, plants and hanging pendants to match the original polished wood fittings.
The food, however, is still recognisably pub-grub, albeit with a gastro touch. Its unfussy, uncomplicated, reasonably priced and most importantly delicious. The seasonal menu showcases largely British dishes and ingredients with a modern European accent this goes for the wine and beer, too.
Our top tip would be to visit with a group and order lots of the bar snacks and starters to share. Highlights include Scotch eggs with a perfectly runny yolk; asparagus with creamy burrata (wonderfully summery); a light gnocchi with a refreshing wild garlic pesto, smothered in parmesan and finished with crunchy pine nuts; and, best of all, the springy hand-dived scallop, served prettily in its shell with steamed samphire and well worth the £10 price tag.
When it comes to The Buxtons mains, though, were not sharing. Our stand-out bavette steak was served with charcoaled edges, perfectly pink inside and covered in a fiery chimichurri alongside tender Jersey Royals. A creamy chicken, ham and leek pie didnt disappoint either, and the fish of the day (hake on our visit) came with a deeply flavoured shellfish sauce. Desserts are limited to two options go for the stuffed doughnut with house preserves, served warm in a brown paper bag.
The atmosphere is distinctly pubby, too (a plus) and sadly so is the seating (our only negative). The tall bar stools might look the part, but will leave backs and legs aching by the end of your meal.