From pansies to parsley, roses to rosemary, this summer’s menu at The Queens Arms in Corton Denham, Somerset, is brimming with fresh flavours and floral flourishes, gathered from the pub’s own kitchen garden. New head chef, Steven Mesher, has forged stronger ties than ever with the gardening team, visiting the plot on a weekly basis with owners, Jeanette and Gordon Reid, so that the kitchen can be led by the land.
Diners can enjoy the best of the season at The Queens Arms at any time of year, but with a bumper crop of edible flowers now blooming, handpicked petals are bringing a wave of colour, texture and delicate tasting notes to the pass. Dishes including rump of lamb with fondant potato and rainbow chard as well as seared scallops with brawn, chorizo and sea vegetables, are adorned with these freshly cut flowers, from the peppery orange petals of nasturtiums to purple violas, with their lettuce-like flavour profile.
With the majority of this destination dining pub’s fruit and vegetables now coming from its kitchen garden, located just a short stroll away within the walls of Corton Denham House, the plot’s influence has grown into every corner of the menu. Garden strawberry mess with basil meringue offers guests an authentic taste of summertime in Somerset, while freshly picked mint is tucked behind the bar, ready to be brewed in herbal tea or mixed into a cocktail with Black Cow Vodka, ginger beer and lime, for a Dorset Donkey with a kick. On weekends, visitors can sip the day away on the terrace with a Sipsmith Summer Cup, soaking in the views as they savour strawberries, apples and mint straight from the garden.
For more information on The Queens Arms, please visit www.thequeensarms.com.