The Rummer: A cellar-bration of food…

The Rummer is already one of my favourite places to go for a cozy drink; their drinks list seems almost limitless with a huge range of spirits, extensive wine list and a separate cocktail list tailored around an evening of eating. They serve up a fantastic Negroni – the perfect way to start any evening in my opinion.

It has recently upped its game on the food front as well though, with the addition of a new head chef, Andrew Clatworthy, joining last September who has shaken things up a bit. For one, the downstairs cellar has been transformed into a cosy dining experience. The menu now includes a five and seven course tasting menu options as well as the a la carte. The menu also reflects his particular passion for nature and ingredients you can easily forage from the garden.

Arriving on a fairly quiet evening we had time to sit on the cosy sofas to peruse the menu. A plate of little tasters of pastry topped with cheese and poppy seeds were popped on the table to whet our appetites for what was to come.

Photo of four pastry circles topped with cheese and poppy seeds stacked on top of each other
Whetting the appetite

The little additions didn’t stop there. Just as the first glass of wine was poured, along came a beautiful plate of little tasters of crispy pastry topped with reduced peapod with mint and a tiny portion of goats cheese with pickled tomato and freshly picked oregano leaves. Delicious flavour combinations.

Bread rolls, still warm from the oven and ready to apart, came next. We had THREE different types of butter to try: standard, truffle and garlic and herb. Garlic and herb was my favourite and I slathered it on with some sea salt, just for a bit more indulgence. I would like to say I was reserved here to save myself for the upcoming courses, but bread and good butter is just too hard to resist.

Photo of bread rolls on a wooden board with circles of butter
Slatherings of butter and warm bread – one of life’s greatest pleasures

Here the actual five course taster menu began. What was described as ‘A Burnt Forest Floor” was absolutely stunning. A perfectly rectangle piece of toast was hidden by an assortment of mushrooms, mushroom mousse, truffle, leaves and a branch made of cheesy pastry to replicated a forest scene. Not usually a mushroom fan, dishes like this could start to win me over and I really liked the earthy flavours of the dish.

Photo of mushrooms, leaves and a pastry "branch" presented to look like a forest floor
Exquisite presentation

Monkfish Cheek “Scallops”, apparently created for the chef’s friend who is allergic to shellfish, were matched perfectly with the crab sauce and curry dressing. The texture of the “scallop” made it the perfect sponge to soak up as much of the sauce as possible.

What looks like a plate of two scallops on a creamy crab sauce
Use the “scallops” like a sponge to get the most flavour from the sauce as possible
The main dish consisted of Gammoned Pork Collar with bacon milk, prunes and crispy fried sage. The bacon milk was epic; like eating a bacon flavoured soft cheese. Admittedly I did use my finger to mop up the last bits of the sauce at the end. I got a little insight on how it was made: bacon cooked until super crispy, milk added to deglaze the pan, reduce down, sieve (in a snazzy way I can’t remember) and leave to set.
A cyclinder of pork with prunes filled with a creamy sauce and sage leaves sticking out with small dollops of jus and bacon milk
I could eat the bacon milk and jus with a spoon!
Another beautiful dish was the set lemon custard with lavendar, set on the most wonderfully flaky shortbread style biscuit. This was one of my favourite dishes of the evening.
A round shortbread biscuite topped with an oval of lemon custard and topped with flowers
Such a stunning dessert
By the final dessert I was starting to struggle. One cocktail, half a bottle of wine and many, many dishes were filling me up! I had to find a little space though for the final dish of chocolate sponge, coffee and tonka bean ice cream. I had to give the majority of the white chocolate ice-cream style cake to my dinner date though as it was too sweet for my tastebuds. I’m more of a bitter dark chocolate fan. My dinner date could have eaten this all day long though! I loved loved loved the chocolate mint leaves though. I need to find myself a plant for the herb garden.
Slices of chocolate cake sat next to a white chocolate slice of ice cream cake and topped with leaves of chocolate mint
For the sweet-toothed amongst you
Hang on, there was one more little treat to come. Firstly, a little nibble of strawberry and balsamic was a delicious flavour combination. Next, a fascinating creation of honeycomb topped with a refreshing cucumber jelly that dissolved so quickly in the mouth and balanced out the sweetness of the honeycomb. Amazing!
Alternating one inch square pieces of honeycomb topped with cucumber and pastry topped with two strawberry halves
Final treats!

Delicious and beautifully presented food, in lovely cosy surroundings, The Rummer is definitely one to add to the visit list. It is also perfect for a rainy evening (we have one or two of those in England) as you can have a pre-drink in the bar, head downstairs for dinner and finish with a coffee on the sofas; all without leaving the building. 🙂

They have regular events, so keep an eye out for what’s coming up on The Rummer website:

You can also see what they’re up to on Twitter: @TheRummer

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