The Olive Branch, Clipsham, Rutland

Olivebranch 01

We do like travelling, the journey itself time to relax and enjoy the scenery, whether it’s familiar or new. We’re often reminded of Robert Lewis Stevenson’s “to travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive” – allegedly referring to the Taoist phrase…

the journey is the reward.

A time to listen to the radio, or audio books – Alan Bennett can keep you occupied right through Italy. That travelling thing could apply to all sports of things – we bet politicians often think that – the anticipation of power probably better that the relentless decision making process that accompanies it. So we’re not ones for travelling round the country in small hops, we prefer to get going and make a proper journey of it, finally enjoying the time at our destination – good advice from friends who spend quite a bit of time driving around France. If you do small hops, you never get to know places properly and always seem to be packing or unpacking – or just living out of the suitcase dumped on the floor.

Travelling to London recently we did stop for lunch, both on the way down and on the way back – luxury. We would sometimes have a quick break at The George at Stamford, or The Haycock at Wansford across the A1. However, a little place quite close – and about halfway on our journey – is the Olive Branch. They have an adjoining house with rooms, across the road, called Beech House and we stayed there on a trip to deepest Berkshire with friends – wonderful. Now, the Olive Branch used to have a Michelin Star – very unusual for a simple pub – but that went in 2013 after ten years of recognition at the highest level. You’d never know it, though, and the food is just what’s needed – and we often find that places that lose a star are every bit as good – better even – with a more relaxed atmosphere, food which is less precious and more enjoyable – the Star at Harome, for example. Nothing wrong with Michelin Stars, mind, it’s just that they’re not the only thing that matters by any means. So, good bread, lightly curried whitebait starter and quail main course, with a shared pud to finish – three courses £19.95. Simple food, full of flavour and in a great setting.

Pub/Restaurant with rooms The Olive Branch

imageolive-branch-clipsham-image-2

...Beech House, across the road

…Beech House, across the road

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