When my real ale-loving husband discovered I was visiting the Grey Horses Inn at Carlton he couldn’t resist coming along.
I had been enticed by the good things I had heard about the food, but he was more interested in sampling some of the tasty brews on offer.
When we arrived we were welcomed by an attentive barman who served us our drinks and handed us our menus. All real ale is just £2.70 a pint. And Martin started with a Carlton Knight, brewed specially for the pub by Welbeck Abbey Brewery.
The menu was bigger than I was expecting with a good choice of starters and sandwiches as well as main courses. There was also an impressive specials board offering several other choices.
After a few minutes the barman came over to take our order. I wasn’t expecting table service so it was a nice surprise.
I decided to go for the scampi off the main menu (£7.95), while Martin went for the barbecue chicken and ribs from the specials board (£8.95).
Each main course came with a choice of chips or new potatoes and veg or salad. I opted for chips and veg while Martin went for chips and salad.
The food took a reassuring amount of time to arrive - a good twenty minutes or so - which may not be great if you’re after a speedy meal.
But when it did arrive it was worth the wait. My plate was brimming with a pile of scampi. Golden brown, each piece was perfectly cooked with a crisp breadcrumb coating and flavoursome filling.
The generous portion of chips were to die for. An assortment of shapes and sizes you could tell they had been hand cut and properly fried. The home made tartar sauce was another triumph.
The veg, however, could have been a little better. The peas were tasty, but the carrots and cabbage were a little overcooked and soft for my taste.
Martin’s food was also good. An enormous rack or ribs was accompanied by a chicken breast, a heap of chips and onion rings. The salad, although undressed, was good with tomato, cucumber and peppers.
After both managing to clear our plates we were pretty full, but couldn’t resist a little peak at the desserts board. We decided we could just about manage to share one and went for one of my all time favourites lemon tart. At just £3.25 it would have been rude not to.
Shortly after ordering an impressive wedge of lemon tart turned up along with a pot of double cream. It was bursting with flavour and again, quite clearly home made. The perfect end to our meal.
The Grey Horses Inn is a great pub that offers hearty, home cooked meals at great prices. With a couple of tweaks, it would be perfect.
By Claire O’Neill