Michelin-starred city chef, Glynn Purnell has opened The Mount – a brand new dining experience located on the high street of Henley in Arden.
After bagging a table for The Mount on launch day, it was lovely to see the buzz of diners walk in through the door. Spot a couple tables outside if you just want to sit and have a drink, alongside various sections of bar seating inside. Many congratulated Glynn on the new opening and there’s a good atmosphere, with diners eager to see what the future will hold for this new restaurant. The Mount has replaced what used to be The Butcher’s Social and the space is vibrant and welcoming.
A look inside The Mount
Art work is for sale on the walls and its keeping with the theme of medieval Warwickshire. Original beams above your head remain after the renovation, and there’s plenty of space available. Whether you’re visiting for a quick pint, for lunch or for evening service, The Mount serves an impressive menu of bar snacks, Sunday lunches, kids meals, alongside the a la carte menu. The front bar greets you on arrival with various bottles, spirits and tap options on display. It was a fun moment when a customer ordered the very first pint. Glynn announced this fact and the front bar erupted with cheers. Not quite as cringe as clapping when the plane lands, but no doubt they’ll take it.
Our table was booked for 12:15 and our table had been reserved. The Mount has a long corridor between the front bar and rear dining area. Outside you’ll find the beautiful beer garden, which will be perfect in the summer and doesn’t need to be booked. Since Jenna is gluten/dairy-free, after a short while a staff member brought over specific GF and dairy free menus. We were also provided with some bread, oil, butter and balsamic. I’d happily sit and eat their bread all day, it’s wonderfully fluffy and filling.
The Mount: Dining at the restaurant
We were running a bit short on time so we decided to throw ourselves at the main dishes only. By this point the tables were starting to fill up and almost every section was full by the time we left. Kindly enough, Glynn and the team offered our table sample dishes of the Leek & Potato Velouté (v) (ve) – Potato Salad & Spring Onion (£6) and he bought them to the table himself. Small actions like this one goes a long way when opening a new place – with the fact that the team were showing their faces to customers. The velouté was the right amount of creamy and was perfect to dunk the salty bread into. It wouldn’t have been my first choice of starter, but we were very grateful to try them. On my next visit I’d like to try the Classic Scotch Egg with black pudding (£8). It looked like a ball of happiness and we saw a few of these land of people’s tables.
Main Dishes at The Mount
Both Melissa and Jenna ordered the Free Range Chicken Breast with Truffle Butter with Gigli Pasta & Mushroom Cream (£20). By the reaction, and after sampling a small piece myself, the chicken was perfectly cooked. A tender melt in the mouth moment, Jenna made me laugh when she stated: “Oh my god, so this is how chicken is supposed to be cooked!…”
For my main I opted for the Battered Day Boat Fish & Chips with Minted Peas & Tartare Sauce (£19). Coming in at that price, you’d expect a lot and so naturally, expectations were high. When the plate arrived at the table, I was accidentally given the complete opposite – Roast Market Fish, Brown butter with Capers, Tomato & Green Bean (£21). The team were so apologetic and quickly took the plate away. Moment later the server came back to the table and notified us we could just have the dish for the the table. I admit the fish portion is fairly small, but I split the fish in three while it was still warm and we all tried it. I have seen a few comments about this dish but in my opinion it’s executed wonderfully. Glynn popped once again over to the table again to check it was definitely the battered cod I ordered as during the mix up, it may have appeared when I asked for the battered fish and chips (and wanted to substitute the normal chips for Truffle Fries (£4.50) they noted down the wrong one. In a great turn of events, my battered fish dish came out a few minutes after with extra chips, so it was happiness all round in the end.
I completely understand mistakes are going to happen during the first shift, and Glynn even said to me himself that first days can be frantic. But the way the team corrected the dish for me, alongside catering to requirements and giving us extra food, this was a real high point and says a lot about the restaurant as a whole. I want to note now that the battered fish was probably one of the nicest I’ve eaten in Birmingham. It was a large piece of fish, with the ideal amount of thinly, crisp batter and the perfect amount of salt. It was so fresh, non-greasy and arrived piping hot. The tartare sauce with the mixed green peas just made the entire dish pop.
From first impressions, I can honestly say the meal was very, very good. I’ve been talking about the visit to so many people all week and really hope the team do well in that specific location. There’s a lot of passing trade & tourism in that area – so the key will be to ensure more people know about it. The food isn’t pretentious but is pricier than your average, bland restaurant you might otherwise find nearby. From my own visit, we did experience the odd hiccup but didn’t find a solid reason to give this place a negative review. There’s a reason why Glynn Purnell is a Michelin-star chef and hope the place will be heaving in the summer. I’m looking forward to returning for their bar snacks – the ‘Whoops Dog’ with slow cooked pork belly sounds rather decent.
How to get here
Great news is that I found free parking a-20 second walk from the venue on the high street, but am aware it can be busier on weekends. During busier times and days you may have to look around for additional spaces. Alternatively, diners can reach The Mount in Henley-in-Arden via a short 5 min walk from the local station on Station Road. For the next month or so, I’d recommend booking a table to avoid disappointment.
Please note, we paid for our meal in full and were given extra dishes to try courtesy of The Mount team.
97 High St, Henley-in-Arden B95 5AT
Full website with menus can be found here.