Chef profile: The Lion and Lamb, Little Canfield
PUBLISHED: 10:48 13 January 2010 | UPDATED: 16:32 20 February 2013
TWO minutes from Stansted Airport and with overnight accommodation available, there are a few good reasons to visit The Lion and Lamb in Little Canfield run by Mike Shields. <br/><br/>Reviewed by: Stephanie Mackentyre
TWO minutes from Stansted Airport and with overnight accommodation available, there are a few good reasons to visit The Lion and Lamb in Little Canfield run by Mike Shields.
Mikes been in the catering trade all of his working life, following in the footsteps of his father who was a chef. Mikes previously run the catering side of a golf club and yacht club, so hes used to pleasing discerning diners. This 120-cover country pub has bags of traditional charm with an open fire as you step inside to welcome you. However its menu is much more cutting-edge than you might expect.
The pub itself dates back to the 17th century in parts and is broken up into cosy separate areas on different levels. Theres also a pretty conservatory with views over the garden and farmland at the rear. Mike searched for more than a year to locate the perfect food-led inn. I loved the character of the building, says Mike of his final choice. The amount of diners we could accommodate and its location with plenty of parking was perfect.
Mikes chefs are Slovakian Peter Bibel and New Zealander Lewis Aperahama who bring plenty of young, vibrant global influences to the menu. The interesting selections on offer and the varied seating areas mean you could visit regularly and enjoy a different experience each time. Some dishes which caught my eye included the roasted Telmara duck breast with saut potatoes and cream and kangaroo fillet with a cream mustard sauce. Theres also a bar snack menu if youre in a dash, however if you do have time to linger, Mike also has some luxury four-star bedrooms available at the White House, a Grade II listed manor house just a two-minute drive from the pub.
I was eager to try the luncheon choices Mike had picked out for my visit. We began our lunch with a sweet potato terrine, topped with roasted vegetables, sweet potato chips and a cranberry and white wine jus. It was refreshing to sample a vegetarian dish, packed with flavour and colourful too.
Next came two fillets of skate with sizzling new potatoes on a bed of deep green, baby spinach with a Champagne and saffron sauce. The sauce really complemented the fish which was cooked simply, with a sprinkling of black pepper, to allow its natural fresh flavours to flow through. The fish is caught locally and wherever possible vegetables, which are always delivered fresh, are purchased from local suppliers too.
We rounded off our lunch with an individual bread and butter pudding with juicy sultanas and apricot crme Anglais. The pudding was wonderfully light and the addition of the apricot to the creamy homemade custard added panache. I just had to finish every last spoonful.
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Lion & Lamb
Stortford Road (B1256)
01279 870 257