Eager to have someone else do the cooking, Karen Neville headed off for a cosy pub meal.
The Dog & Duck in Emmbrook describes itself as stylish and welcoming and after an enjoyable meal there I’d agree and add good food and friendly service to the accolades too.
Having undergone a major refurb just over a year ago, it has been transformed into its current guise but retains much of its heritage, dating back to the 1850s. Traditional features of oak beams, sash windows and antique prints combine with modern elements of light wells and bi-fold doors leading out to the garden.
When we visited it was definitely not weather for sitting outside but it was weather for enjoying a warming lunch. Topping up on festive excess we chose the whisky and chicken liver pate with brioche and brandy cherries and the potted smoked salmon and soda bread for starters. Both were delightfully rich and full of the flavours of the season.
Comfort food beckoned next with chicken, ham and leek pie – deliciously crisp shortcrust pastry, none of the puff that’s all too common in pubs – with creamed mash and broccoli and slow braised “falling apart” ox cheek with beef dripping mash, both mains were like having a hug on a plate as we looked out on the cold sunny day.
As we finished off our New Zealand Featherdrop Sauvignon Blanc which was crisp, fresh and full of zesty flavours, I tucked into the passion fruit posset with pumpkin seeds and shortbread. The light and zingy taste was the perfect ending.
It proved to be a great example of traditional and modern fare matching the look and feel of the pub.
The Dog & Duck, Matthewsgreen Road, Emmbrook, RG41 1JT.