The name’s Hunworth (but you can call me Hunny)
August 1, 2018
The Hunworth Bell, Norfolk
Known locally as The Hunny Bell, the pub was reopened by its new owners, Ben & Sarah Handley, in August 2017. On an early recce we were impressed by the “Bar Bites”. (To read my earlier post Click here) http://wp.me/p7AW4i-6a
We returned in November for dinner. I ordered chicken, which I very rarely do as it’s something I cook at home. I remember it as moist and juicy, branded by the chargrill, it came with strips of bacon, and a deeply savoury jus that tasted as if it had made the acquaintance of some game birds in the kitchen. I took some photos with my phone, which I dropped down the loo a week later; that was a post without illustrations that didn’t get written.
Our third visit took place in the heatwave of July 2018, and while there were a lot of meat options of the menu, it was fish that appealed for mains.
The menu credits the local farms and producers who supply the meat, and intersperses them with more adventurous options: grilled sardines, pigeon, octopus. Influences for sauces and side dishes range farther afield: adobo or chimichurri sauces from Mexico and Argentina, caponata from Sicily.
A starter of rare roast local pigeon breast came on a slice of Fruit Pig Co black pudding, and a rich, velvety celeriac puree. A “bonbon” on the side was a crunchy little croquette of gamey sausagemeat.
Presentation is creative and appetising, with accents of vivid colour and intense flavour (although a dusting of powdered beetroot made me wonder if Jackson Pollock had been reincarnated and pressed into service on the garnish section)
We drank a Côtes de Provence Rosé, which had more bite and structure than most, and ticked all boxes with both the meal and the hot weather.
Cracking sweet wines are recommended with desserts: Muscat Late Harvest, Tabali 2011, from Chile, was grapey, with an edge of fresh acidity, perfect with a lime and basil posset, crème fraîche, and ginger biscuits.
Apple tarte tatin, crumb, and toffee ice cream (superb) and a glass of Rivesaltes, Chateau Lauriga, Ambre Hors d’Age Bouchon, 2015; amber in colour, with flavours of prune and lychee.
Dinner ended with a glass of Ayala (for the Birthday Girl, one of her favourite champagnes) and a glass of Judith Beck’s “Ink,” a fresh, juicy Austrian red for me; mulberries and raspberries, with a hint of tannin.
The Hunworth Bell, The Green, Hunworth, near Holt, Norfolk NR24 2AA