I’ve just returned from a lovely lunch at The Old Mill Restaurant in Botley. Although there’s a bit of parking available on the site, I was told that it was only for 2 hours so I parked a little further up the road (travelling from Wickham) turned first left after the mill then first right into a little car park which, if you print off a ticket, gives you three hours. The downside to that of course, is if you leave your phone in the car, on show and it starts to rain. Quickly scanning the menu I told my friend my choice of dishes so she could go ahead and order and rushed back to the car. D’oh!
The Old Mill Restaurant is a 17th Century converted mill (flour and feed) with three dining rooms. We were sat in the main dining room which contained a milling hopper and next to the waterfall (behind glass).
Another room contained only a couple of tables along with a big milling engine and the original millstone housing in place. On the walls hung old photos of the mill and Botley.
The third dining room I didn’t see, it must have been upstairs perhaps which I didn’t take a look at as I was too busy talking.
It’s great that these beautiful old buildings are preserved and being used, even if it’s for something completely different to what they were originally intended for. Another mill (watermill) not too far away is Chesapeake Mill in Wickham where vegan restaurant Offbeet is situated.
The lunch menu had plenty to choose from, one course for £10.50, two for £13.95 and three for £17.95. On a Friday lunchtime they have ‘bottomless Prosecco for the ladies’ for around an extra £6. The à la carte menu looked good too. Throughout December they have Christmas lunches/dinners and are also open on Christmas Day for lunch.
Being greedy piggies my friend, Helen (not my daughter Helen but her namesake) and I went the whole hog, three courses sounded good.
I ordered the toasted goat’s cheese with brioche, a trio of beetroot, pear puree and pine nuts. It was very tasty and I certainly liked the brioche instead of any other kind of bread, sourdough for example.
Helen ordered the baked mushroom stuffed with asparagus & pancetta covered in a cream sauce and said it was lovely, it certainly looked it.
I had a goats cheese thing going on because I also had it for my main dish, which was the smoked salmon and goats cheese salad.
This was also very tasty with plenty of goats cheese and fresh salmon along with tomatoes, cucumber and salad leaves.
Helen had the chicken, avo’ and bacon salad which she also enjoyed, the only thing we didn’t like very much (although this wasn’t a big issue) was that they were served in a bowl and not on a plate so it was hard to cut the salmon and chicken. A little more salad leaves would have been good too. I liked that the salads didn’t come smothered with some sort of mustard dressing (which I don’t like) but with just a wedge of lime and lemon.
All of the desserts we could have cheerfully eaten, they all sounded very nice. We decided to share two and chose both the lemon & limoncello posset cheesecake and the chocolate brownie with white chocolate fudge.
Well, both desserts were absolutely delicious and they certainly weren’t small portions. I’m not sure I could decide between the two which I liked the best to be honest.
The posset was served in a large glass and was prepared on a slant, the base being the usual cheesecake biscuit, topped with the posset which was wonderfully smooth and creamy. Fresh raspberries accompanied the dish and a dollop of very nice raspberry ripple ice cream.
The chocolate brownie was amazing. Served warm it was perfect, just how a brownie should be with a subtle crust on top and a gooey centre. The white chocolate fudge was lovely, the chocolate twizzle stick too, a drizzle of chocolate sauce and served with a chocolate ice cream which had chunks of chocolate in it. Not normally a fan of chocolate ice cream I did enjoy this. I didn’t find out where the ice-cream came from, whether they made it themselves or bought locally, they were very nice.
The service was very good and friendly too. The food was nicely presented, with good sized portions and appeared fresh and of good quality. I can’t think of anything that I didn’t like.
Botley is a nice little village with some interesting looking shops, a florist and a nice bicycle shop too but on this occasion I didn’t get a chance to look around but have done in the past, I seem to recall a shop selling lots of Christmas decorations, I’m not sure of that’s still there? We reviewed Elsie’s Tearoom just a little further up the road a while back.
I would definitely like to return, taking Geoff and our daughter Helen along too. My friend Helen was also planning on taking a group of friends there for a Christmas lunch get-together.
Ambience 8 – fairly dark, nice and cosy
Living life, loving cake.