king-john-inn"As a relative newcomer to Yapp Brothers and the person behind the recent drop in 'average age of employee', I felt I should make myself known and heard by contributing to the blog.  Having joined in September 2009, I have since been trying to come up with a valid reason to post something here, as, being only 20 years young, I have not had the exposure to the wonders of wine for very long.  Despite this, I now have a reason, and while it may not be completely wine related, I still felt it was worth mentioning.

Due to a recent birthday in the family, we decided to celebrate by having dinner at The King John Inn, a 'pub' (if only there were a word that combines pub, bistro and restaurant in one) in Tollard Royal, a village just 7 miles south-east of Shaftesbury. Steeped in history and within a beautiful setting, the King John may be one of these modernised eateries, but it has character and is ideal for its location, with the Rushmore Estate and Larmer Tree Gardens, just minutes away, attracting the target clientele.

Leaving the dark, cold night behind us, we were welcomed and seated at a table next to the open fire, welcome on such an evening. To start, ox tongue fritters, black pudding, fried quails eggs and brown sauce.  I had never tried, or even had the opportunity to try, ox tongue before, but I recommend it.  Warming without being too heavy with the presence of the black pudding, it was a perfect start. For my main I had chosen duck breast, chorizo and tomato cassoulet. For someone to be lucky enough to have a chef for a father, I have had my fair share of duck, so it came as a shock to have the best I had ever tasted that night.   Cooked to perfection, the duck was delicious, its delicate texture offsetting the rustic quality of the cassoulet.  To accompany such a dish, I had used my limited but ever-expanding knowledge of wine and had chosen a glass of Rioja from Bodegas Navajas, its winter berry, tobacco and wood flavour working extremely well with the dish.

Fortunately, the weighty main had left me content, so dessert was not needed.   Instead, we ventured back out into the night and set off for home, where, naturally, cake was waiting!"