The picturesque location matches the high standard of food at The Vanilla Pod, writes Lydia Willgress
Tucked away in the small village of Trusham lies The Vanilla Pod at the Cridford Inn. The beautiful building dates back to 1086 and is the perfect venue for the classy, yet simple food it serves. Some of the original features have been maintained: dark beams and fireplaces are focal points of the room. The décor has been carefully considered, with the cream and black contemporary theme complementing the older characteristics.
My stepfather and I were shown to a table by a stained-glass window. The service is friendly and attentive and we were allowed to browse the menu without being hurried. Our order taken, we were treated to smoked salmon and basil tartlets and homemade cheese and tomato bread. The perfect way to start the meal.
Our appetites whetted, our starters arrived. I chose the watercress soup: a piping hot tasty bowlful with a cool lemon crème fraiche to give it a kick. My stepfather had the prawn and crab cocktail, which was presented in a kilner jar and was as tasty as my starter. My main course of fillet of hake was cooked to perfection and came with hand-dived scallops. The delicate taste was not overpowered by the celeriac puree. Both mains were served with a selection of seasonal vegetables, as well as potatoes – we were spoilt for choice! The dessert was the highlight of the meal for me, I chose to have the chef’s chocolate cup – the signature dish of the restaurant. As a chocolate lover I was not disappointed. Beautifully presented, the chocolate mousse was surrounded by freshly made tuille biscuit ‘cup and saucer’. It was crisp, light and exquisite. Eager to taste as much as possible, I also sampled my stepfather’s crème brûlée: delicious.
During the course of our meal, the restaurant had filled and a low buzz of laughter filled the room. The Vanilla Pod is a place for families, couples, friends and even business associates to come and enjoy the excellent food and beautiful setting.
The Vanilla Pod is owned by husband and wife team, Ian, the head chef, and Tracey, who looks after front of house. “Our relationship, and the tightness between the front of house and kitchen is an important part of how we run the restaurant,” explains Tracey. “I listen to the wants of our customers and report back to Ian and influence the menu, which changes every two months.”
The Vanilla Pod is open evenings Tuesday to Saturday and Sunday lunchtime. A separate menu is available in the bar, also cooked by Ian and his team, all day on Saturday and Sunday in July and August. A monthly Friday fish and chip night and a monthly Tuesday pie night means there are plenty of opportunities to go and try their food.
I know I will visit again.
Published 20 June 2011
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