Tom Kerridge’s second site, the Coach, was last year’s Highest New Entry on the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropubs.
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.
But whilst Kerridge’s name may draw customers in from further afield, thanks to his celebrity chops, The Coach’s chef-patron Nick Beardshaw is the real superstar.
Beardshaw was Kerridge’s number two at the Hand & Flowers before moving to spearhead the Coach’s opening, which has been a rampant success.
Recently he has been working with his brigade to develop what could be described as the Coach’s ultimate menu, which encompasses flavours from a wide range of cuisines, including British, Italian and American.
For Beardshaw, the starting point of any dish is “what it tastes like, so it’s all about deliciousness”.
There are no “potions and powders” and the plates aren’t covered in swipes of sauce or gels, but 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 adds.
Though the head chef has full reign over the menu design, he is fully aware any dishes that come from the kitchen must not deviate from Kerridge’s style.
He has worked with Kerridge for almost seven years and, luckily, his style has made a big impression on Beardshaw.
“So that does have its boundaries, so I couldn’t do something so alien to Tom’s style,” he adds.
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 Coach’s glorious rotisserie.
And thanks to Kerridge’s no-reservations policy, the pub is often filled with Marlow’s 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 this year.
Menu highlights include 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.
While researching the menu, Beardshaw visited top restaurants including the Waterside in Bray, which also has a rotisserie, and Le Gavroche, where modern cooking equipment is used to create classic dishes.
The most recent dishes available to try include:
Duck liver parfait with fig and cherry chutney
Potted crab with smoked paprika butter and cucumber chutney
Mussel marinère with warm stout and brown bread
Black pudding stuffed rotisserie quail with moilee sauce
Chicken Kiev with cauliflower cheese
Venison chilli with red wine, chocolate and toasted rice cream
Mushroom ‘risotto’ Claude Bosi