Grace Dent ‘A side of farm­house pota­toes turns out to be a bowl of vis­i­bly semi-raw new spuds. It’s al­most sur­real’

The Guardian - Feast - - Feast -

Un­til re­cently, a “mini-break” spent in a “ho­tel” was the an­swer to many of life’s woes: ex­haus­tion, en­nui, ex­is­ten­tial dis­may. Nowa­days, modern types favour the “res­tau­rant with rooms” – the new buzz term for din­ner with an overnight stay. Plain, snoozy, old, func­tional ho­tels, with an abun­dance of staff, room ser­vice, re­cep­tion desk, trouser presses, tear-stained Gideon bibles and a ter­rine of wob­bly break­fast buf­fet sausages, are over. They’re also mas­sively ex­pen­sive to run. “But I liked the con­gealed scram­bled eggs, and house­keep­ing try­ing to clean my room,” you might say. Tough titty, the hos­pi­tal­ity world replies.

The Pointer at Brill is one of these places: some­where to eat, then rest your head. It’s a gor­geously re­stored coun­try pub with a sep­a­rate build­ing over the road with four taste­ful, coun­trychic, modern rooms in muted shades with exposed beams. The pub has a ye olde worlde butcher’s shop at­tached to it, sell­ing its own be­spoke char­cu­terie, and even a quaint de­liv­ery van out­side. The Pointer is very much part of the fu­ture of Bri­tish hos­pi­tal­ity. One checks in by shout­ing one’s ar­rival across a crowded bar.

“This Pointer Farm char­cu­terie board,” I say as we be­gin din­ner,

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