5 January 2013

Eat in a Michelin starred restaurant: The Hand & Flowers, Marlow

Danny is really difficult to buy presents for.  He's a typical bloke in that as soon as he wants something, he buys it, despite the fact I put him on a December spending ban each year as his birthday is less than a week after Christmas.  This year I decided that rather than buy a present, I'd take him out for a meal - he loves cooking (if Masterchef, Masterchef Australia, Masterchef: The Professionals or Celebrity Masterchef aren't on TV in our house, it's Food Network!) so it seemed like a perfect idea.

One of our friends from work recommended The Hand & Flowers in Marlow.  Owned and run by Tom Kerridge and his wife, Beth, this cosy pub earned its second Michelin star last year and became the first pub to do so.

After taking our order, we were presented with an appetiser of whitebait with marie rose sauce and white and brown soda breads.

For starters, I chose the blowtorched scottish scallops with warm roast chicken bouillon, morels, nasturtium and apple.  This dish was featured on Masterchef: The Professionals last month when the contestants visited The Hand & Flowers for a masterclass with Tom Kerridge. (And I had to try not to grin knowing that we'd be going for a meal there a few weeks later!)

Danny picked moules marinières with warm stout and brown bread.  The mussels were hidden in the warm stout like delicious little treasures.

Tom Kerridge won The Great British Menu in 2010 with the next dish so I knew I had to try it.  Slow-cooked duck breast with savoy cabbage, duck fat chips and gravy.  Easily the best dish I've ever eaten.  I can't even put into words how good it was but you get the idea just by looking....

Danny plumped for fillet of Lancashire beef with Hand & Flowers chips, onion rings and béarnaise sauce.  You definitely don't get small portions at this place!

Danny couldn't face a dessert but I'm well known for having a second stomach exactly for this purpose - I went for the banana soufflé with gingerbread custard and yoghurt ice cream.

Wow.  It was incredible!

The whole meal was absolutely phenomenal.  I've been dreaming about going again ever since!  I would thoroughly recommend paying a visit - obviously Michelin stars aren't handed out lightly but the combination of wonderful food with friendly, unpretentious service and cosy surroundings really makes for a great experience.

Just make sure that if you do go, you invite me along....

The Hand and Flowers
126 West Street
Marlow SL7 2BP
(01628) 482 277


  1. GINGERBREAD CUSTARD? This sounds better than anything, ever.
    Sometimes I think our Danny's are twins- mine is EXACTLY the same- has everything he wants/ needs to a total pain to buy for, birthday straight after christmas and obsessed with food/cooking. Yesterday he actually said to me 'for my birthday next year I want to go to a michelin starred restaurant' and then I come on here and see this post!!!!! I LOVE YOU xxxx

    1. Haha perfect timing then! :) I'm going to have to try and recreate the dessert (well and the rest but I think that might be even harder!) Tom Kerridge was on Saturday Kitchen this morning and said he's going to bring a Hand and Flowers cookbook out this year. WIN! xxx

  2. Yum yum yummy yum and YUM again!!!
    I thought I was already following you... apparently not :/.. well I am now :)

  3. That food looks amazing! I am slightly obsessed with food shows too, it's pretty much all that's on in my house. I'd love to go to a Mitchelin star restaurant. One day...!

    1. It's definitely worth going! The Hand & Flowers do a 2 or 3 course set menu too which is only £15-£20! x

  4. The food looks amazing! I love scallops but don't get to eat them very often :) x


    1. I love them too! Unfortunately Danny doesn't like fish so I don't get them often either - I suppose that means I enjoy them all the more when I do have them though! :) x


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