Being within the hustle and bustle of Central London, we often forget about the beautiful areas that surround the capital and are within such reachable distances, even in the middle of the week when we need to get to somewhere and back again within a few hours at the end of a working day. We were given the chance to dispel that on a bright spring Wednesday evening by catching a 20 minute train from Marylebone out to Gerrards Cross, an affluent and picturesque town in rural Buckinghamshire.
Rotisserie sticky pork belly – smoky creamed corn, roasted butternut squash, golden beetroot, cavolo nero mashed potato, red wine jus & crispy crackling: £15.50 + seared, wild, Atlantic scallops: £5.00
As we stepped foot in The Apple Tree country pub we were greeted with the aroma of fresh paint, evidence of the complete overhaul and transformation of what used to be your typical pub-grub and ale type of venue. It’s no longer that as the decor has been completely invigorated with modern wallpaper, shiny beer taps and utterly fantastic food. We immediately felt an ambience of vibrancy and buzz, almost as if the people of Gerrards Cross have been crying out for this for a very long time.
Miso aubergine bao buns served with sesame, mango and spring onion salsa: £6.95, Tempura squid with lemon aioli and furikake: £6.95
The drinks menu boasts everything from the premium Peroni, Asahi and Hop House draught beers, outstanding cocktails and spirits. Deep contemplation left us opting for quite unusual gintonicas, one infused with tia maria, dark chocolate bitters and orange zest. Intrigue was the main motivator for that choice but next time it will be because it works down to a tee and seemed to compliment all three of my courses. I can’t explain why, it just did.
Raspberry and peach gintonica: £7.95, Chocolate orange gintonica: £7.95
The menu caters for all – traditional pub food, vegetarian, vegan and even features a dedicated healthy section, all dishes that comprise it being under 600 calories. With my recent efforts to get lean, the seared salmon fillet with was tempting but I couldn’t ignore the opportunity to indulge in the 7oz sirloin steak. Not conforming to the usual mushroom, tomato and fries, The Apple Tree complete it with their signature caramelised onion, stilton and panko crumb tart, confit tomato, parsley butter and twice-cooked chunky chips. The flavours were absolutely magnificent and the steak itself was perfectly tender.
7oz fillet steak – served with twice cooked chunky chips, caramelised onion, stilton & panko crumb tart, confit tomato and parsley butter: £26.95
From the small plate starters we also decided to share and test out the vegan option of the miso aubergine bao buns and tempura squid. Alongside, Jessica selected the rotisserie sticky glazed pork belly with wild Atlantic scallops. Again, the quality of ingredients and flavour combinations were first class. We’ve no doubt the remainder of the menu would be the same and we’ll certainly be returning to testify that. I’m sure we’ll be back with the family but the indoor restaurant, bar or garden is perfect for any kind of social gathering.
Melting chocolate and peanut bomb – sticky toffee pudding, peanut butter cream, ice cream and hot salted caramel sauce: £8.95
A social gathering is the “official” reason we’ll be back anyway, the real the reason is for the melting chocolate and peanut bomb dessert. Oh my goodness. Wow. It was something else. Recommended by our brilliant waitress, Kelly, we were treated to the incredible hot salted caramel sauce being poured all over the sticky toffee pudding, opening it up from the middle to reveal the centre of peanut butter cream. It was the stuff of dreams and a major recommendation if you go The Apple Tree, or actually anywhere within the vicinity of Gerrards Cross. It’s well connected on the line between Birmingham and London, and also just 14 miles away from Heathrow Airport yes has the feel that you’re in the middle of nowhere.
We had a truly remarkable night at The Apple Tree. The menu is modern, full of quality ingredients and imaginative dishes whilst the setting is beautiful and they’ve done an almighty job on the refurb.
Thank you so much to all for having us, and especially Kelly who looked after us as if we were family.