I can't believe that it has taken me 2 months to visit this lovely looking pub that is walking distance from my flat. To make up for that I have been twice in the last few weeks. Once with a friend from work for lunch (where I was too shy to get out the camera) and on Sunday with hubby for a roast dinner.
The pub is split into a dining room and a pub section, both times I've sat in the pub part. There are a mismatch of tables, chairs and sofas which all add to the intentionally "designer rustic" look of this place. I'm always a bit shy about trying new pubs as I've had some horrible experiences in grotty local places for local people, but this place has a wonderful welcoming atmosphere.
When I went for girly lunch we were lucky enough to get a cosy sofa seat. I was impressed with the choice of soft drinks (they have Fentimanns rose lemonade!!), and noted that they had a big choice of real ales which I knew would interest hubby.
I had a prawn marie rose baguette which was surprisingly huge with the most delicious chips I have had in a long time. They were golden and crunchy on the outside while staying soft and fluffy inside. My friend had a charcuterie platter with a nice choice of cold meats, sun dried tomatoes, olives and hummus. She stuck to the small platter but they do bigger ones to share.
I was so impressed that next weekend I dragged hubby in the rain for Sunday lunch. It was much busier so we weren't lucky enough to get a seat next to the open fire... so next time we'll have to get there earlier.
Hubby is a pescatarian so roast was off the menu for him, so he chose fish and chips. The fish was covered in a lovely light batter and accompanied by those amazing chips. The best bits however had to be the minted pea puree and the chunky tartare sauce bursting with capers and onions.
I went for roast beef (with a nice big glass of red wine, obviously!). The rare and tender roast beef came with a huge homemade yorkshire pudding perched on top, resting on crunchy but fluffy roast potatoes and loads of fresh steamed veggies. The gravy wasn't a thick artificial gloop, but instead a tasty jus... my only complaint was that there wasn't more of it, I could have drank the stuff in a glass. I'm sure if I would have asked they would have given me a bit more. The veggies were lovely and fresh and as soon as I tucked in I stopped moaning that they didn't have my favourite, braised red cabbage.
I was also convinced to get a side of cauliflower cheese. Big mistake. I love cauliflower cheese and this was a massive disappointment. The cauliflower was so crunchy it seemed raw in the middle and was topped in an underseasoned white sauce. I'm not sure that it had ever seen cheese. I wish I hadn't ordered it because otherwise this would have been an amazing lunch.
I'm not going to let the cauliflower cheese stop me coming back to this lovely pub as everything else I have tried has been absolutely delicious. In fact I can't wait to try more of the menu and banish the memory of that cauliflower forever.