Rather than sit outside at the small tables, we decided to take up one corner of the communal table in the window. We'd ordered a platter each and figured we'd need the room! I had the charcuterie one and Steve stuck to his English roots and went for the ploughman's. The owner (I think); a chirpy and friendly lady picked up on the accents and said that she'd be keen to hear his view and standards would be high! Nice of her to interact with us.
Our tea arrived promptly and we could see the boards being prepared with plenty of goodies. The lady actually asked Steve how he liked his Cheddar and when he said strong, she stopped cutting the one she had picked out and swapped it for an American version to which we had a giggle and bit of banter about Americans not being able to make good cheese and their offerings were from a spray can.
On the American cheese note, it was actually very good. Smooth and creamy and flavoursome but not too intense; actually quite mellow but strong at the same time. Pretty enjoyable and I definitely helped Steve out with that. We learnt that the pork pie was made to a recipe from the lady's husband's great grandma who is a Melton Mowbray girl (home of great pork pies for those that don't know) so Steve was pleased to be able to provide the feedback that it was a very good piece of pie with the right jelly to meat to pastry ratio!
I loved all the elements of the charcuterie board, The greeny goodness of the asparagus cut through some of the fatty saltiness of the meats. The chorizo certainly had a hot punch to it. The pate spread like cement and didn't look the most appetising but was really tasty and well balanced in flavour and on the toasted rye bread it was delicious. The sweet and spicy tomato chutney and the pickled onions offered some tang and fruitiness to balance some of those other intense flavours.
Steve and I feel we are well versed with good deli boards and often create our own with the help of the David Jones Food Hall. We also indulge when dining out and we've had some good ones - Cumulus, Robbie Burns Hotel spring to mind but we felt that these were up there in terms of quality, balance and flavours.