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