The Hammer and Pincers located in the village of Wymeswold, a few minutes from Loughborough and around 25 minutes from Nottingham and Leicester city centre is a two rosette restaurant as awarded by the AA guide. The owners Sandra and Danny Jimminson have refined and developed the food they offer over the several years since they bought the restaurant. Having read that they had trained at the Savoy hotel in London and worked in St Mortiz in Switzerland, I was excited to try the food that would be on offer here.
Upon entering the restaurant we were warmly greeted and shown to our table. There are several dining areas offering a calm, sophisticated and intimate setting to enjoy a meal in. Modern artwork available to buy covers the walls. There was a calm but warming atmosphere to the restaurant and just about every table was full, highlighting its popularity, and quite rightly so in recognition of its outstanding gastronomic offering at reasonable prices.
We opted for the ten course taster menu without the paired wines. (They also had a seven course taster menu option, a wide range of meals were also on offer on their a la carte menu ). This was around a three hour journey through a myriad of tastes and with carefully crafted pairings to offer palate cleansing dishes and a subtle shift towards the end of the taster menu into some of the sweet dessert courses. To begin we were served a selection of freshly baked breads of which the nigella seed and onion was my favourite offering strong yet sweet flavours.
Our first course was Trout – wasabi – nori. The flavours of the trout blended well together. The chunks of trout were tender, juicy and mild in flavour with a refreshing wasabi sorbet which was slightly spicy with a hint of ginger. The crisp added to the textures perfectly. It was also a great way to start the meal as it engaged so many of the senses with aromas coming from the dish and dry ice creating foggy clouds which lifted from the plate making a great dish aesthetically stunning. Next up was pigs head – coriander and carrot. This was croquette like in presentation and the tender pork meat was slightly salty and juicy and wrapped in crackling. The carrot and coriander gave the dish vibrancy and a sweetness to contrast the flavour of the meat with crackling adding a crunch to the texture. Following this was venison – smoked celeriac – mushroom. The braised shin of venison was sweet and tender with the mushrooms imparting an earthy umami flavour enhancing the taste of the meat. The fourth course was cauliflower- almond – raisin. The cauliflower was roasted giving it a more robust nutty flavour. This was served with a creamy and smooth roasted cauliflower purée adding a slight sweetness to the dish. Next was crab – shrimp and sea herbs. The delicate, sweet and flaky crab was well balanced with herbs and the crusted potato added a nice crunch to the otherwise soft texture. The sixth course was cucumber – dill – lime. This was like a palate cleanser and served like a sorbet although most had melted. This had nothing to offer in terms of presentation but the flavours worked in an interesting way with the lime cutting through the subtle flavours of the cucumber. Next up was the last of the savoury courses and perhaps the most substantial plate of food. Beef – roots and sherry. This was, again, executed with precise attention to detail which was evident in the taste, texture and appearance of the dish. A cut of 30 day dry aged fillet beef which was moist and incredibly tender. The truffle potato was some of the smoothest and lightest mash I’ve ever had and although the truffle was quite strong it only enhanced the taste of the beef. Next was the first of three dessert courses. Passion fruit – mango – coconut. This was a dainty but vibrant plate of food. A smooth and sweet passion fruit pannacotta with a mango and chilli salsa and mango purée adding further sweetness and a slight sharp bit of heat also. This was fresh, sour and refreshing. This was followed by Vahlrona chocolate, a rich and indulgent chocolate dessert. The layered dark chocolate mousse cake with both a bitter and sweet taste of dark chocolate and intense sweetness of caramel. A coco nib crumb and salted caramel ice cream again offering variety of tastes from bitter to sweet. The ten course feast was rounded off perfectly with a British cheese board which boasted a wide selection of cheeses from local blue cheeses to milder cheddar varieties and brie but to name a few. These were served with quince, plain and charcoal crackers.
The menu showcased a range of flavour profiles and textures with a decadence which would be fitting of a Michelin Star, the whole experience is a real banquet of gastronomic indulgence. Overall, the Hammer and Pincers is a village gastro pub that perfectly creates a relaxed and down to earth setting with attentive service throughout our meal with an extensive knowledge of the food that was being served. It was pleasing to gain knowledge from the servers about each of the various dishes. It’s clear that they take pride in sourcing some of the finest local produce and dishes are made from scratch making for an indulgent experience. The ten course taster menu was great value for a fine dining experience at £60pp.
This review is written honestly and the meal was paid for by myself. All reviews are written fairly and honestly whether complimentary or paid for by myself.
Recommended for: Special occasions as their taster menus are of outstanding quality and can be served with wine pairings. It is also a great location for a Sunday roast.
Location: Hammer and Pincers, 5 East Road, Wymeswold, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE12 6ST.
Opening hours: Monday – Closed, Tuesday to Saturday 12-2PM and 6-9:30PM and Sunday 12-4PM.
Phone number: 01509 880 735