T&C tests: The Lygon Bar & Grill, Broadway

Indulge in hearty fare at this recently restored Cotswold favourite

The Lygon Arms hotel is a true Cotswold classic; occupying much of the high street in the chocolate-box village of Broadway, this former coach inn is expansive, yet warmly hospitable and steeped in history (former guests have ranged from Oliver Cromwell and Charles I to Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton). The restaurant has undergone a significant renovation: while the rest of the hotel is labyrinthine, with cosy nooks and crannies heated by roaring fires, The Lygon Bar & Grill’s dining-room is a grandly handsome space – convivial rather than imposing, with its warm dark colours and large windows.

Although the stature of the room seems appropriate for feasting, the marble-topped tables and banquettes suggest an upmarket brasserie; the menu is a friendly assortment of contemporary dishes and a hymn to the seasons. Starters were simple and appealing: the cured salmon was served with a Tewkesbury mustard sauce, its slight tartness allowing the clean freshness of the fish to sing, while the twice-baked cheese soufflé was a generous pillow of flavour – the savoury tang of the cheddar melted happily in the mouth, evoking childish joy on tasting.

There was an extensive selection of main courses that included nourishing yet hearty salads and local meats. The game special that day was venison loin, deliciously tender and accompanied by caramelised fondant potatoes, while the lamb cutlets, cooked on the grill, were a beautiful blush-pink. A fillet of stone bass sat on a bed of plump mussels, the liquor from which – mixed with samphire – added a salty depth to the sauce. The sides were irresistible: green beans with sweet shards of shallot, verdant curls of rocket with parmesan, satisfyingly golden skin-on-fries, and truffled mac and cheese, which could have been a main in itself.

We were so full, we couldn’t quite bring ourselves to order dessert, but we took coffee in the lounge before walking the lunch off in the winter sun through Broadway, popping into Haynes Fine Art to browse the work of Elizabeth Frink and Banksy, and then Oka’s substantial townhouse for interiors inspiration. The Lygon Bar and Grill is a restaurant that has evolved to become a modern British classic, and is a wonderful addition to this quintessentially English village.

The Lygon Bar & Grill, High Street, Broadway, Worcestershire

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