Standing prominently in Paul’s Row, High Wycombe, is an alehouse with a difference; it doesn’t consider itself an alehouse. Rather interestingly, Heidrun considers itself a restaurant first.
An initial glance would make you think otherwise as the centre point of the room has always been the bustling bar, where a variety of beers and ciders – as well as cocktails and wines – await thirsty revellers.
However, my wife Shruti and my latest visit to this little slice of cool was focused on the food as much as the beverages.
The ambiance was one of the first things we took in; there’s a nonchalant vibe about the place, yet eclectic at the same time – it would not feel out of place in Shoreditch or Camden.
The staff at Heidrun are one of the real draws of the place; they know their stuff. Shruti, not traditionally a beer or cider drinker, was recommended the Elderflower cider by assistant manager Chhya, who seemed to know everything there was to know about beers and ciders, and she was immediately hooked, declaring it her new favourite drink.
I was recommended the ‘flight’, a tantalising collection of four different beers and ciders, and I too was not disappointed. Although not all of them were to my taste, I certainly found a couple that I will be returning for.
For starters we went with the wild mushrooms, which came on a toasted sourdough, and mozzarella melts, and both were beautifully cooked, seasoned and bursting with flavour. It was immediately clear to us just exactly how fresh the ingredients were with these delights.
For mains, Shruti went with the halloumi salad, while I went for the halloumi burger.
The salad was pleasant enough, if a little too salty for her taste, while the burger was well grilled, accompanied by surprisingly tasty parmesan truffle chips. We also ordered onion straws which were light, crispy and very tasty.
Both dishes certainly didn’t disappoint when it came to quantity.
We rounded off the night with a chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream and a tangy raspberry compote, which hit just the right sweet spot without being too rich.
Heidrun is not the cheapest of places, but it doesn’t care that it isn’t – and rightly so. While it may look pricey, it is certainly value for money and most definitely high on quality.
And while there were only two vegetarian main dish options (which we were forewarned about when we told them were were vegetarian), there were enough veggie options with the starters and sides combined for us to choose from.
There are few places in High Wycombe that will be able to match what it offers.