Saturday Night Out with the Family at the Travellers Rest Nottingham.
Every December we usually head out for a family meal to celebrate my sister-in-law's birthday although this year we've had to bring it forward due to other commitments for us all throughout December. Her choice this year was the pretty local option of the Travellers Rest, on Mapperley Plains which serves hearty pub-grub with a mixed selection to aim to satisfy everyone’s palate.
Part of the Chef and Brewer group, the Travellers Rest has long been a regular choice for us when eating out due to being around a 10 minute drive from home. It’s a 18th century former coaching house with stunning views over Mapperley Plains and down towards Lambley in summer. It's a rustic venue with exposed oak beams, an open plan pub running through into the dining area and some log fires to sit beside on a cold winter’s night
We’ve been visiting the Travellers Rest for years although we’ve had a rather tempestuous relationship with the pub. In reality it was a gastro-pub before anyone even thought of the word. Its location is well out of the way of the populated areas of Arnold and Mapperley yet a short drive away meaning unfortunately there’s always going to have to be a designated driver amongst the party.
We all went for various different things for starters but there were visually two real standouts. Baked Camembert and the Butchers Platter.
|The Butcher's Platter at the Travellers Rest, Nottingham|
The Baked Camembert (£8.29) featured a whole gooey, baked camembert cheese with an accompaniment of dough sticks, lovely fresh chunky bread and a little addition of some ale chutney to add a sourness to the mix. Visually very enticing and served on a large wooden block. The only downside we found was that you needed half a bloomer which always seems the case with starters and Hallam's- There's never enough bread! (With our appetites it won't ruin a main course!)
Even more appealing on the eye and lips was the Butcher’s Platter. Featuring a selection of the best you’d expect to find on a land based menu. Some nice plump sausages, chicken fillets in a spicy crumb, farmhouse pate, and some tender hoisin duck fillet. With some toasted thick doorstep bread and dough sticks. (£10.99)
|The Baked Camembert Platter needed more bread|
Main Meals at the Travellers Rest
For our main meals we all went for something different across the menu.
The ½ honey and lemon chicken (£10.49) was lovely and moist with a decent sized portion. (Far better than when we had similar at Bill’s). The honey and chipotle chilli sauce added a little zing, whilst the mix of white and wild rice was well cooked and fluffy.
|Honey and Lemon 1/2 Roast Chicken|
Having never tried Wagyu (Japanese Cow) Beef before we were intrigued to taste what it’s all about and the Wagyu Burger (£13.49) came looking a good size with our favourite chips- Sweet potato. The meat itself was dense and hearty although which it tasted exceptionally good it served as heavy going when coupled with some dry prosciutto ham on top. The dryness of the burger definitely made it hard going for such a premium dish
|Wagyu Burger with sweet potato chips, ale chutney and truffle mayonaise|
Dad was perfectly happy with his “Whale” and Chips. The Hand-battered Cod and Chips (£9.99) is a classic my dad shoots for again and again. It’s hard to go wrong and for a man for whom a good meal is a big meal, dad was perfectly happy.
|"Whale" and Chips as dad calls it.|
Mum loves her meat of the feathered variety and has a sweet tooth so opted for the Pan-Fried Duck in Cherry Sauce (£13.99) which looked fantastic in the bowl. She had asked the waitress for it pink upon ordering but it came out more medium cooked than had requested. Despite this she did feel it was a fantastic meal and loved the black cherry and red wine sauce.
|Pan-Fried Duck in Cherry Sauce (£13.99)|
My option was the Steak Burger with Pulled Pork (£10.99) in a lovely soft brioche bun. Personally my burger was a real let-down. The steak burger was ok but the pulled-pork topping was very much on the dry side and wasn’t falling to pieces easily like you’d expect from some tender slow-cooked pork. The menu stated it would be sticky barbecue and ale pulled-pork but instead I just got some dry pork with some barbecue sauce on the side.
To add to my disappointment my chips were also somewhat undercooked with hard sections to them. I would expect restaurant chips to be nice and fluffy in the middle with a lovely crisp outer and whilst some of the chips made this grade, as a texture eater I felt they really detracted from the meal. I certainly wouldn’t recommend the dish personally if it’s usually cooked how it was for me.
|Steak Burger with Pulled Pork and Chips|
Our final choice for main meal at the Travellers Rest was the Steak and Ale Pie (£9.99) with prime steak in shortcrust pastry and some Bateman’s Ale gravy. Instead of mashed potato Bro opted for chips but he was made than happy with his choice of the pie
As a family we all have very sweet teeth and love sugar so if we have the option of dessert there's no question on whether we're going to have it or not.
The most enticing looks wise of our desserts selection was the the Oreo Cookie Sandwich (£5.49) which consisted of a chocolate biscuit base and top, with a thick vanilla cream filling which made it definitely a Liam dessert. Sweet and packed full of cream.
|The Oreo Cookie Sandwich|
|Baked Lemon Cheesecake|
|The Sorbet Selection|