Arriving at The Frogmill in Andoversford on a busy Saturday evening, we were taken aback by just how beautiful the setting is. The exterior is a picture perfect Cotswolds’ postcard, complete with Cotswold stone, distant rolling hills, the sound of a babbling brook and stunning gardens. On the inside, The Frogmill’s 16th-century interior is warm and inviting; an eclectic mix of vintage furniture and French brocante inspired curios. It recently reopened under new owners and the work they have put in has paid off; it’s truly beautiful.
Drinks and Starters
Having taken our seats, we checked out the extensive wine list and cocktail menu. At 38 weeks pregnant when we visited, Sarah was also excited to see what their mocktail offering was like compared to other establishments. Unfortunately, this is the one element we were disappointed with; there were only a couple of options which we found surprising given most customers will have to drive out to Andoversford if not staying over. It could be easily fixed with a few more options, and what we had was pleasant so it shouldn’t put you off visiting; it’s a minor thing.
As I glanced over the menu one starter jumped out for me; curried cod cheeks with butternut purée, a mint raita, radish and crisp strawlike potatoes adding some crunch. The cheeks were delicate and meaty, flaking apart beautifully, and worked brilliantly with the sweet butternut and mild curry spices. It’s not a combination I’ve had before but I’d definitely recommend it. Sarah was concerned with making sure she had plenty of room for dessert, so opted for a one of the nibbles in place of a starter. She chose well as the homemade hummus and flatbreads, beautifully blistered from the grill, were fantastic; I pinched her leftovers to mop up the remnants of my curried cod cheeks. I even polished off the hummus and I’m not normally a fan.
The Main Event
With a josper grill installed in the kitchen, we decided it would be rude not to try it out. Sarah opted for a sirloin steak and I chose the house smoked whiskey glazed Gloucester Old Spot ribs; and between us we shared sides of creamed spinach with gruyere, triple cooked chips, beer glazed heritage carrots and truffle and parmesan fries. This was a veritable feast, with the moreish carrots and rich, cheesy spinach standing out as top side orders. Having been quickly cooked over the intense heat of the josper grill, Sarah’s steak was juicy despite having to be fairly well done. The meat was well seasoned and melted in the mouth. My ribs were huge and packed full of tasty meat, falling off the bones. The glaze was sticky, sweet and left me wanting more even after the last bone was scraped clean.
Stuffed to the brim, the constant array of desserts going past our table proved too much and we caved in. Sarah chose a very unmessy Eton Mess with fresh strawberries, cream, a tart sorbet and long sticks of chewy meringue. Exceedingly sweet but deliciously summery, she was in her element. My chocolate delice with chocolate soil and salted maple ice cream was pretty moreish and surprisingly not too rich. I could almost have eaten a second.
Final Thoughts on The Frogmill…
The Frogmill is a great addition to the Cotswolds food scene. It’s gorgeous inside but the outdoor space is where it really shines and I can imagine spending many a summer afternoon here with a G&T or two. The food offering ticks the brasserie box perfectly and elevates it far above most of the other local pubs offering decent pub grub and a beer garden. Head chef Jonathon Pons, formerly of the award-winning Feathered Nest, in Oxfordshire, and Cheltenham’s Ellenborough Park, has done a great job once again.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the service too, which was friendly and attentive without being overbearing. No request or question was too much trouble and Sophie, our waitress, was a delight from start to finish. We’ve often said how service can make or break a meal; thank you Sophie for making our evening so enjoyable.