Winteringham Fields, 1 Silver Street, Winteringham, Lincolnshire

 

Approaching from the east, the first thing you see in the Lincolnshire village of Winteringham, an isolated straggle of houses on the fringe of the Humber, is a sign that baldly declares 'FERRETS'. It is an unlikely milieu for an upmarket 'restaurant with rooms'. Yet there it is at the heart of the village: a slate-topped, two-storey structure, possibly a former Georgian inn, with pantiled extensions. The facilities include a helipad, but our spirits failed to soar on entering Winteringham Fields. Booked in for Friday lunch (three courses £39.95, four courses £45), my wife and I found ourselves deposited in a small, unpopulated lounge. Our refusal to take a drink before the meal was greeted with an expression of surprise ("Oh!") as if apéritifs were pretty much compulsory.

After that we sat in silence broken only by the Lincolnshire rain pattering on the windows. At one point, amuse-bouches arrived in the form of a tiny, potent mug of sweetcorn velouté and gougère of gruyère, a cheesy profiterole more tasty than pronounceable. "Do you think we're the only ones here?" inquired Alison at the 20-minute mark.

I passed the time by exploring the 25-page wine list. Doubtless the invaluable info on Burgundy ("Ancient Jurassic bedrock, primitive vines and 16 centuries of unbroken cultivation") helps to push sales of Romanée Conte Richebourg '99 at £2,500 per bottle. From the bottom end of this daunting directory I plumped for a Fleurie Vieilles Vignes for £36. The menu proved equally wordy. "Colin's dream kitchen has been installed rather fabulously by the team at Athenor." Since Athenor is a fabulously expensive electric range from France, this means that chef Colin McGurran has followed the likes of Heston Blumenthal and Thomas Keller in switching to sous-vide cooking: shrink-wrapped items are heated at precise temperatures in a water bath then finished on an electric hot plate. Non-believers call it 'boil-in-the-bag'.

After half an hour in Siberia, we were finally invited through to the dining room. This contrived to be both cosy and elegant. Best of all, it was populated by 11 other diners, a mix of retired captains of industry with their wives, a young couple in the Posh-and-Becks mould and a moustachioed chap accompanied by the Sporting Post and a bottle of Krug (£179). All were happily tucking in. Why we had been left in isolation for so long was a mystery. Once we were seated, front-of-house clicked into a well-oiled routine. A waiter delivered a padded stool so Alison's handbag would be comfortable. This was followed by bread and an oleaginous novelty called Lincolnshire Poacher whey butter.

"If they hadn't told you, would you think it had gone off?"

"Well, yes."

After a third amuse-bouche, an infinitesimal fragment of brandade, our meal proper finally commenced. Alison was entranced by three generous blobs of cloud-light pâté de foie gras accompanied by poached quince and crunchy hazelnuts: "Well, that was divine". My starter of pig cheek – two pink, delicately chewy chevrons courtesy of the sous-vide – came, somewhat startlingly, with 'Jewish relish'. Also known as chrain, this mixture of beetroot and horseradish usually accompanies gefilte fish but it worked well.

Alison's 'middle course' of spätzli (a Swiss dish meaning 'little sparrow') was a surprise. A gooey cylindrical pile, it tasted like veal in a thick, creamy sauce but turned out to be baked pasta topped with tiny ribbons of onion. "Lovely. Glad I chose it." I was equally happy with my gurnard. I suspect the three fillets had been sous-vided then flash-fried, which produced a tasty result. It came with a cold, flattish cylinder that proved to be 'cannelloni' made from Japanese kelp and 'compressed cucumber', which is more sous-vide.

For her main course, Alison went for '12-hour cooked pork jowl'. After a half-day simmer in the water bath, this plebian cut acquired a velvety texture. Mostly fat with a slender ribbon of meat, it was perhaps as well that the dish consisted of two little rectangles with fragmentary crackling. "Probably the most tender pork I've ever had." My roast leg of lamb revealed the downside of sous-vide: consistency at the expense of character. The three dainty slivers had a uniform, slightly chewy texture more like steak. Slices from a proper roast leg of lamb would have been infinitely preferable.

You might think that a £40 lunch would cover everything; not at Winteringham Fields. When ordering, we were advised to get two side dishes of vegetables at £3.95 a time. (One of these consisted of half a beetroot, three bits of parsnip and five sprouts.) Having cheese instead of dessert would have involved a £5 supplement. Coffee and two petit fours added another £5 per head. Still, lunch was a bargain compared to the three-course dinner, which costs £75 plus £18 for the cheese trolley. It's enough to give you heartburn on the helipad.

Winteringham Fields, 1 Silver Street, Winteringham, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire (01724 733096)

About £160 for two, with drinks

Food ****
Ambience ****
Service ****

Tipping policy: "No service charge. The amount of the tip is up to the customer. All tips go to the staff"

Side orders: Luscious Lincs

The Old Bakery

The emphasis here is on Italian influences and local produce – think slow braised Lincolnshire ox cheek with potato rosti (£19.95).

26 Burton Road, Lincoln (01522 576057)

Harry's Place

A tiny restaurant in a Georgian home combining local produce with French gastronomy – run by a husband-and-wife team.

17 High Street, Great Gonerby (01476 561780)

Melanie's of Louth

English cuisine with a focus on local sourcing; dishes include loin of Lincolnshire wild venison on a cabbage and potato cake with shallots (£17).

37 Upgate, Louth (01507 609 595)

Arts & Entertainment
The original design with Charles' face clearly visible, which is on display around the capital
arts + ents The ad shows Prince Charles attired for his coronation in a crown and fur mantle with his mouth covered by a criss-cross of white duct tape
Sport
Mourinho lost his temper as well as the match
sportLiverpool handed title boost as Sunderland smash manager’s 77-game home league run
Voices
Sweet tweet: Victoria Beckham’s selfie, taken on her 40th birthday on Thursday
voices... and her career-long attack on the absurd criteria by which we define our 'betters', by Ellen E Jones
Sport
Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (front) drives ahead of Red Bull Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia during the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International circuit
sport Hamilton captured his third straight Formula One race with ease on Sunday, leading from start to finish to win the Chinese Grand Prix

VIDEO
Arts & Entertainment
Billie Jean King, who won the women’s Wimbledon title in 1967, when the first colour pictures were broadcast
tv
News
Snow has no plans to step back or reduce his workload
mediaIt's 25 years since Jon Snow first presented Channel 4 News, and his drive shows no sign of diminishing
Life & Style
food + drinkWhat’s not to like?
Voices
Clock off: France has had a 35‑hour working week since 1999
voicesThere's no truth to a law banning work emails after 6pm, but that didn’t stop media hysteria
Arts & Entertainment
Maisie Williams of Game of Thrones now
tvMajor roles that grow with their child actors are helping them to steal the show on TV
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Life & Style
Lana Del Rey, Alexa Chung and Cara Delevingne each carry their signature bag
fashionMulberry's decision to go for the super-rich backfired dramatically
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    NGO and Community Development in Cambodia

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: There are many small development projects in ...

    Sports coaching volunteer jobs

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Kaya Responsible Travel offer a variety of sp...

    Turtle Nesting and Coral Reef Conservation in Borneo

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Volunteer with Kaya in Borneo and work on a p...

    Elephant research project in Namibia

    Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: If you have a passion for elephants and want ...

    Day In a Page

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

    How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

    Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
    Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

    British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

    The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
    Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

    Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

    Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

    A History of the First World War in 100 moments

    A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
    Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

    The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
    Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

    Cannes Film Festival

    Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
    The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

    The concept album makes surprise top ten return

    Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
    Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

    Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

    Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
    10 best baking books

    10 best baking books

    Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
    Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

    Jury still out on Pellegrini

    Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

    The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

    The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

    Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

    As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
    Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

    Mad Men returns for a final fling

    The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

    Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

    Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit