Penny Post prize winners review their overnight stay at The Pheasant in Shefford Woodlands

Congratulations to Jo and Peter Harbinson who won our Christmas and New Year 2020-21 Quiz. There was an understandable delay in her enjoying her prize meal, overnight stay and breakfast at The Pheasant in Shefford Woodlands and she has just reported back to us how they got on.

We had great fun over Christmas and New Year working out answers to the clues in the Penny Post 2020 Christmas and New Year Quiz and solving the anagram. It’s always everyone else who wins competitions, isn’t it? Not this time. We were really surprised and delighted when Brian rang to tell us we’d won the fantastic prize of a meal for two, a bottle of house wine, a room for the night and breakfast the next day at The Pheasant Inn in Shefford Woodlands, generously donated by owner Jack Greenall.

Unfortunately, due to lockdown, we were unable to claim our prize straight away. This, however, gave us plenty of time to explore The Pheasant’s website, peruse all the delicious-looking dishes on the menu and read about all the work that has been going on recently to extend the restaurant and redecorate the bedrooms. There were also many excellent reviews, all of which just heightened our anticipation.

The day was fixed and we finally paid a visit there ourselves and it lived up to all our expectations.

We received a very warm welcome on arrival and were shown to our room for the night. When we came down to eat the restaurant was busy, with a lively convivial atmosphere.

The chefs had created a selection of mouth-watering dishes on the menu, with a lot of local influence. The lovely waiting staff were all very knowledgeable and helped us make our choice.   

The restaurant has recently been extended in the same style as previously, with lots of quirky prints on the walls. There is also a completely new kitchen at the side, which we are told the chefs are very happy about (always important to keep the chefs happy, I imagine).

To start with we enjoyed deliciously large plump prawns in a light crisp tempura batter with garlic aioli and lemon. For the main course, we both chose succulent Wiltshire lamb rump – cooked perfectly pink – accompanied by a spring pea, broad bean and pancetta fricassee, lamb sauce and a delicious crispy layered potato terrine. 

Many compliments to the chefs!

Goodness me: I almost forgot about the desserts; which are, by the way, to die for. After a lot of deliberation we plumped for the extremely decadent tonka bean panna cotta, with ginger parkin, caramelised hazelnuts, honeycomb and pickled berries, and cardamom-spiced chocolate cremeux, with blood orange sorbet, brownie bites and cardamom tuille.

We were in heaven! This was all washed down with an excellent bottle of house red wine, a Sangiovese, Fico Grande from Italy. 

After a wonderful night’s sleep in one of the recently redecorated rooms, with Bamford toiletries and big fluffy towels, we came down to breakfast. This provided us with a selection as diverse and enticing as that we’d enjoyed the night before – juices of smashed avocado, chilli, lime and coriander toasted sourdough, slow roasted tomatoes, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toasted croissant with lemon chives and lashings of tea and coffee. This is not, I must stress, the kind of breakfast we usually get round to making for ourselves…

What a treat! It is so great that hospitality venues are now able to open again and we would urge everyone to support them and pay a visit to The Pheasant Inn – why go further when we have this fantastic gem on our doorstep?

So, a big thank you to Penny Post and to Jack and his tip-top team at The Pheasant Inn – we had a wonderful time and will be back very soon!”

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Covering: Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage,   Lambourn, Newbury, Thatcham & Theale