Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 1611 Have you got any new menus planned for the summer season? The menu changes with the seasons, so for example we’ve recently been serving a lot of asparagus, we’ve got Selsey crab on at the moment, we will be getting lobster thermidor, and more and more vegetables from our garden as the summer goes on. Very shortly we’ll have beetroot and baby carrots from our garden, and we’re already using our own strawberries. We’ll soon have samphire from The Witterings, which we do with prawns and garlic and lemon butter. Do you have a couple of dishes that you’ve created that you especially pleased with? Well, our confit pork belly with an apple and calvados glaze and creamed Savoy cabbage is one of our signature dishes and one the pub is well known for. That is about the one dish that is always on the menu, but otherwise things change with the seasons. The roast is also very popular, even better known than the pork belly ~ it’s that that won me Pub Chef of the Year 2010 here. We serve groups of four people or more with their own joint to carve. It’s like being at home but without the cooking and washing up! You’re a local boy from Fernhurst who went to Midhurst Grammar School and then Chichester College to study catering. You must like the area to have stayed around ~ why so? I was offered work in London when I was younger, but I turned it down because I like this area for its fishing and shooting, and it’s close to London but not actually in London. I like the countryside, it’s just really nice down here, and being a chef it’s great to be surrounded by local seasonal produce. You once turned down the offer of a job in London from Gordon Ramsay, choosing the countryside instead. Why was that? I was already a head chef here in the local area, I had my own Rosette by the time I was about 22 or 23. It was at this point I was offered the work in London and it was either go there or carry on working here. Again, it was to do with the area; I really do like the seasons down here. The Duke of Cumberland itself… what do you like about it most? I love the old part, the way the pub hasn’t really been touched since the 16th Century. Also the garden and our new dining area at the back of the pub where we’ve brought new and old together to make, what I think, is a very special place. I think the grounds are unique, the views are unique, and to be truthful I would say it’s probably one of the best pub locations in the UK. It’s a part of natural Britain really, a typically English pub with a lot of character. And I like the way we mix as well ~ it’s very diverse ~ a lot of people simply come in for a drink as well as the diners, so it’s not your typical gastro~pub. That’s quite unique for somewhere that is a destination for food. It’s still very much a local too. The Duke of Cumberland Arms, Henley, GU27 3HQ For bookings phone: 01428 652280 or visit Simon and his team will always be delighted to discuss the provision of special menus for celebration events, from a small birthday gathering through to weddings, or an informal BBQ in one of the garden areas. Whatever the occasion, even if you’re just popping in for a relaxing drink, you are guaranteed a warm welcome at this renowned hostelry.