Barnards is a restaurant in Denmead that I first became aware of around 10 years ago. I took Rachel there. She had a cheese soufflé and was instantly addicted. Thankfully, they still serve said soufflé, so every now and again, my dear wife gets the craving, and today was a day where that craving had to be satiated. It never takes much to convince me to go out for some good food, so Rachel, George and I jumped in the car and headed to Denmead.
There are a few parking spaces outside Barnards, but it is usually best to head for the car park just over the road. You are always greeted warmly upon entering, before you are shown to one of the two dining spaces. There is also a garden out back for when the weather is behaving. Options are vast and varied when eating at Barnards, including breakfast, brunch, lunch, and afternoon tea. A full English is still available at lunch time, which makes George happy, this being one of his favourite meals on planet Earth. With George sorted, and Rachel obviously feeding her cheese soufflé urges, that just left me. I picked the grilled salmon on wilted spinach with carrot puree, new potatoes and a chive hollandaise. Sounds rather good doesn't it?
Once the food arrived, it only took me one mouthful to realise I had something special in front of me. I had been handed a good sized peace of salmon that was cooked beautifully, with perfectly crisp skin. The potatoes were of the small variety, comparable in size to a Malteser if you're interested. The carrot puree was velvety and deep with flavour, while the hollandaise was stunning, and a perfect best friend for the salmon. This plate of well crafted food set us back £12.95. I don['t care what planet you are from, that is a good deal. Rachel's soufflé was up to its usual high standards, and was accompanied by sauté potatoes, perfect for dipping in the cheese sauce, . This comes in at £13.75. George's breakfast was also a beautiful thing. Many is the time we have taken friends and family to Barnards, often for the breakfast. One of these will set you back £9.50.
I'm happy to say that we were tempted in to deserts. George and I opting for the chocolate brownie with crunchie ice-cream, £6.50. Rachel chose a coconut sorbet with a homemade biscuit, £6.20. After a brief consultation, George agreed that this was one of the best brownies we had tasted, and that the crunchie ice-cream was a touch of genius.
It is hard to find fault with our trip to Barnards. The service is always friendly, the chef, David, is extremely talented, and the overall atmosphere was topped by the cherry of a classy playlist including Jack Johnson, who I like. I love the imagination and effort at work here, from the home made scones to the freshly baked bread for the sandwiches. Everything is done properly here and without fanfare. It's a lovely place to come with friends or family, even on your own. It's a place where you can get a high standard of restaurant food in a relaxed atmosphere. If you haven't been before, I recommend that you give Barnards a try.