Review: The Sun Felmersham
Food to shout about
There’s a lovely walk from Sharnbrook to Felmersham. The well-trodden path leads you past fields of sheep and crops until you meet the Great Ouse as it meanders towards The Mill and weir. We like to stop briefly on the bridge to enjoy the view and from there it’s just a short stroll toThe Sun. Now that this lovely old pub is in the capable hands of Peter and Connie, it's a walk we’ll be taking more often.
Peter has been cooking since he was 13 and until recently was the Duke of Bedford’s private chef. Connie is a delight front of house. Together they have transformed the restaurant into a bright and airy space. It’s rustic in a contemporary way with wooden floors, reclaimed church chairs, wheat wall hangings, chunky wood-topped tables and calm sage green walls. The overall impression is a welcoming village pub and yet there is something much more going on here.
The menu is compact with just a handful of starters. A couple of mains sit alongside The Sun’s trademark rotisserie chicken and grills and then there are seasonal specials to tempt you on the day.
We started with the cockle popcorn. This is a fun dish. Lightly battered, delicate morsels filled a glass with a side of scotch bonnet mayo for dipping. This delivered a real taste of the seaside with a subtle warmth coming from the chilli mayonnaise. We also chose the grilled courgette with mozzarella and mint; a dish that was so my thing. Bold chargrilled flavours combined with heavenly mozzarella, a fine olive oil and generous seasoning. Simple ingredients, maximum impact. It’s the kind of dish I’d like to think I could recreate at home but know I wouldn’t come close.
We followed with one of the specials, octopus with garlic butter and crushed potatoes. This dish was spectacular. The plate touched the table and boom! I got a smokey, garlicky hit and couldn’t wait to tuck in. I’ve only had octopus this tasty and tender when we’ve happened upon the right restaurant on a Greek island but food like this in Bedfordshire? No way! Having heard lovely things about The Sun’s rotisserie chicken, we opted for this too. It was outrageously good. So succulent and flavoursome with a stuffing, rich with liver and pancetta.
Sides come separately for some dishes so we chose the moreish house chips with chicken salt and fresh peas with broad beans. Connie also recommended a tomato and basil salad which complemented the octopus so well, I’m glad she did. Again, a simple dish yet so full of flavour with proper tomatoes, good oil and perfect seasoning. The sides are generous portions (at bargain prices) so I would recommend sharing.
There’s a smattering of desserts and at the bottom of list we read ‘Underberg’. I beckoned to Connie, ‘What’s…’ I began. She smiled, already knowing what I was going to ask. ‘Underberg? It’s a herbal digestive to help after a big meal’. Then added laughing, ‘It’s a little of my influence on the menu; us Germans like an excuse to have a shot’. We were sold! We ordered the local strawberries which came with a gorgeous lemon meringue ice cream and finished with our shot. Clovey, aromatic, medicinal - we were already smiling and at 44%, our smiles grew bigger!
Tables at The Sun are already proving popular so if you’d like to try their food - and quite frankly why wouldn’t you - it’s definitely worth booking. The prices are reasonable and Peter’s food is just delicious. It is also brave - fresh, uncomplicated ingredients expertly put together, achieving amazing flavours.
Next time I walk to Felmersham, I’ll take a megaphone. Food this fabulous is worth shouting about.
This review was written by Jacqui Hagen and first appeared in the AugSep19 edition of OVL Magazine. Photography by Ant Hagen.