Tom Kerridge’s second site, the Coach, was 2016’s Highest New Entry on the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs list and has maintained its position in the top 10 for a second year.
The site, a sleek, modern bistro-style pub that sits just down the road from Kerridge’s double Michelin-starred pub the Hand & Flowers in Marlow, is a force to be reckoned with and was awarded its own Michelin star in 2017, which it has held on to since.
But while Kerridge’s name may draw customers in from further afield, thanks to his celebrity chops, the Coach’s former chef-patron Nick Beardshaw was the real superstar.
Beardshaw was Kerridge’s number two at the Hand & Flowers before moving to spearhead the Coach’s opening, and since on to Kerridge’s London bar and grill, which has been a rampant success.
At the Coach, the starting point of any dish is “what it tastes like, so it’s all about deliciousness”, Beardshaw explained when he was still at the pub.
There are no “potions and powders” and the plates aren’t covered in swipes of sauce or gels; things are kept simple.
“The style is always something that people can relate to and get enjoyment from and we won’t deviate too much from that in terms of modernising,” he added.
Though the head chef was in full charge of the menu design, he was aware any dishes that came from the kitchen must not deviate from Kerridge’s style.
“So that does have its boundaries, I couldn’t do anything alien to Tom’s style,” he added.
The Coach offers a range of small, tapas-style dishes, perfect for sharing (or pigging out on alone) at an affordable price. At the centre of the operation is the pub’s glorious rotisserie.
And thanks to Kerridge’s no-reservations policy, the pub is often filled with Marlow residents enjoying a pint or watching sports. In spirit, the Coach is well and truly a local pub.
Its food rivals high-end restaurants and was awarded a Bib Gourmand for exceptional cuisine at an affordable price by the Michelin Guide last year.
Menu highlights have included the Coach burger with smoked brisket and West Country cheddar; sea bream fillet with braised leeks and parmesan velouté; chicken Kiev with cauliflower cheese; and mushroom ‘risotto’ Claude Bosi.
The most recent dishes available to try include:
Rotisserie of the day
Fillet of wild sea bass with fennel jam and source Bouillabaisse
Roasted Jerusalem artichoke soup with truffle pesto and cheese straw
Mushroom ‘risotto’ Claude Bosi
The Coach chips with Béarnaise