[Hereford] The Bookshop

The restaurant shares its building with three other associated eateries. It’s a successful conversion of a city centre building – all exposed brickwoirk, modernist artwork on the walls and an open kitchen.

The “Modern British” menu moves with the seasons in dishes such as a starter of Wye Valley asparagus, with smoked duck breast. There’s shreds of cured egg yolk, a meaty bonbon and a scattering of duck fat crisped granola. A Devon crab rarebit was a cracking idea but it missed out by not having enough flavour of crab or cheese. What there was sat on a hash brown, topped with smoked bacon crumbs. Alongside, a little pickled cauliflower provided a flavour contrast. All very tasty, in spite of the lack of crabby cheesey oomph.

Perhaps, unsurprisingly in thei part of the world, main courses heavily feature steaks. There are several cuts on the menu. Herefordshire beef, of course, The restaurant buys its meat from a local butcher who, in turn, sources all the beef from a farm in Kings Pyon (farm to fork miles – about 8). Grass fed, of course. And hung for 28 days for the flavour to really develop. So, whilst lots of other dishes appealed, we decided on a sharing plate of picanha rump steak. It’s a generous portion, served in thick slices and accurately cooked as requested. There’s a little parsley and watercress salad and a roasted shallot each. And good chips, of course, And you get a choice of sauces – Bearnaise for us – and a good one at that, with a twang from the tarragon. We also had a side order of roasted tenderstem broccoli and almonds.

We had no room for dessert and very good espresso ended the meal. Service was very much on the ball, with everything happening just as it should. I’m sure that, if we were locals, we’d become regulars.