THERE’S a lot to be said about a truly great meal out. It’s about much more than some slap up grub – everything has to be just so and they have to offer something really special.
Crossing the River Trent with the crisp Spring sunshine beating down, I made my way down meandering rural roads to the idyllic chocolate box village of Walkeringam. It was there where I found that special dining experience.
Tucked away in Walkeringham is The Brickmaker’s Arms. I understand that the pub has been recently renovated and is now under new management. I don’t know how The Brickmaker’s used to be, but the pub I find myself in today is one of the finest you’ll find in this part of the world – and that’s saying something.
Bafflingly, the pub is criminally quiet when I arrive. But I daresay that when word of mouth spreads the message that The Brickmaker’s is back and brilliant, quiet mealtimes shall become a rarity.
The pub has a wonderful traditional setting with a comforting rustic charm. It makes the perfect place to unwind and forget about the world.
A gaggle of pensioners have gathered to have a natter and catch up among friends in the comfy lounge area while they wait for their food. They’re probably here to take advantage of the impressive OAP special on weekdays from 12pm-2pm where they can enjoy two courses for £5. Impressive eh?
They offer an mouth-watering and vast menu with a range of tempting starters with everything from soup of the day to Mexican chilli potato wedges and Thai chicken bites but I opted for the prawn and crab tower. Lying on a bed of French bread and held up by a wall of cucumber blades, it was nothing short of a work of art. It felt a crime to dismantle to it, but it was so light and tasty.
For my main course I nearly went for something from their staggering Big Grill menu, but went for the Burns Chicken.Stuffed with haggis, wrapped in bacon and served in a cream sauce with a dram of whiskey, home-made chips and salad, it was an inventive and lovingly made dish with an remarkable attention to detail.
As the waiter politely floats around the dining room to check that everyone has enjoyed their food, he is met by a wave of superlative compliments. “Beautiful,” says one diner. “Absolutely gorgeous,” says another. Never was a truer word spoken. On my way out I noticed that renovation and building work are still ongoing in parts of the pub, but one thing is certain: The Brickmaker’s Arms is already built on a foundation of complete excellence.
By Andrew Trendell