What's on the menu?

What's on the menu?

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Sunday Lunch at the Queens Head Belton

We love the opportunity to head out to a good country pub. Whilst we appreciate the hustle and bustle of Nottingham we're no longer the party animals we might have been. We're now at the point where we'd rather treat ourselves to Sunday dinner so when the opportunity to pop over to the Queens Head at Belton for a review came about we jumped at the chance.

We've been hearing good things about the Queens Head for a while and whilst it's a little further than we might normally venture it's actually not that far in honesty. A relatively short 25 minute drive from Nottingham city centre and we were out past East Midlands Airport and into some lovely rolling countryside on quiet roads. The area's not far from Nottingham, Leicester, Derby and Loughborough so if you're looking for inspiration for your Sunday lunch it could be well worth consideration.

The Queens Head, Belton


From setting foot in the Queen's Head we saw a very contemporary pub. With a separate well stocked bar we could easily pop in of a Friday night after finishing work if you're local or know someone who's happy to drive (and stay on the soft drinks). The dining area is modern and uncluttered with an amazing looking fire built into a central column. With comfy padded chairs and lots of light it certainly feels the kind of place the whole family can enjoy dinner together- It's smart and stylish without forcing it upon you.

The Front Dining Room at the Queens Head
We were sat to the side of the pub through a doorway beside a large round table that would be great for a big group meal. It felt different in this section of the restaurant with a darker decor. Still a nice relaxed dining space and with plenty of light from the adjacent windows adorned in a hounds tooth pattern while flowed throughout sections of the restaurant.

There's also a kids play room to the rear with everything from colouring books to a movie projector to keep the kids happy away from the main dining area.

The Second Dining Area
The Sunday Lunch menu offers 3 courses for a very reasonable £17.95. The menu is compact yet well put together with some classics for everyone to enjoy. We were also very intrigued by the advertised Feasting Menu which featured a huge selection for tables of minimum 8 people. Priced at £27.50 per head it's certainly a level above the main Sunday lunch menu, although we'd love to come back with a big group to sample Hungarian Pork Goulash, Boeuf Bourguignon, Lamb Hotpot and Luxury Fish Pie. The feasting menu sounded like a veritable banquet of an opportunity to get together and enjoy some great food. It's on the list for a future review.

Starters at the Queens Head


For starters we opted for the Serrano Ham with Melon and the Field Mushroom Soup. The other option on the menu was an intriguing starter of pizza.

The Serrano Ham with Melon came out looking striking on a clear glass plate. With sweet, firm melon, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper drizzled with watercress and slices of Serrano Ham seasoned with a dash of olive oil. It looked a fantastic starter, very well presented with a drizzle of a subtle balsamic glaze to the exterior. Fresh and fruity.

Serrano Ham and Melon

Our second starter with the Field Mushroom Soup with featured a rich, meaty taste. Not quite blended to a puree with the occasional small chunk of wonderfully fresh mushroom. Thick enough to coat a slice of bread and I really enjoyed it.

Field Mushroom Soup

Alongside the Field Mushroom Soup was a couple of chunky slices of fresh bread and a small dish of butter topped with salt flakes which added a nice, personal touch to the dish.

Butter with Salt Flakes

Main Meals at the Queens Head


For our main meals we had opted for the Chicken Breast and Beef Sirloin from Tori and Ben's Farm at nearby Melbourne.

The Beef Sirloin Came out looking very nice indeed with charred carrot, purple carrot and parsnip atop three generous half centimetre thick slices of beef aside roast potatoes and Yorkshire Pudding. For some it would be close to the perfect Sunday roast although we did feel it was maybe lacking one thing- a stuffing ball.

Beef Sirloin Sunday Roast

For some the beef may have been a little too close to mooing for their liking being on the rare side. For myself however this was close to perfect and we're sure the chef will do requests if you prefer your meat cooked in a more particular way. When served up with French Mustard it was fantastic.

The beef was from nearby Tori and Ben's farm at Melbourne. It's always a positive to see places using locally sourced food

Our other main course option was the chicken breast which came out beautifully moist in a butterfly cut. Soft and succulent whilst full of flavour. I've never had chicken so succulent so a real hats off to the chef.

Butterfly Chicken Breast

Alongside our fantastic meat was a nice selection of vegetables. The roast potatoes were lovely and crispy on the outside. The charred purple carrots and parsnips were fresh and seasonal as well as the sweet al dente greens which came as we'd requested we didn't wish for cauliflower.

Desserts


For desserts we opted for the Treacle Tart and Cheese Board.

The Cheeseboard came out on a granite plate featuring three generous sized pieces of cheese, A Stilton, a Brie and Lincolnshire Poacher. Usually we'd expect to see a Cheddar on a cheeseboard and it's omission made a nice change with a great range of tastes from the cheeses offered. We love our Stilton and Lincolnshire Poacher was a wonderful addition.

The Cheese Board

Alongside the cheeses were a selection of three different crackers. Pumpkin and Sesame Seed, a Water biscuit style cracker and wholemeal. You can't say there wasn't any variety alongside the fresh red grapes.

Strangely the cheeseboard came with a pot of butter which isn't something we usually would expect and were a little puzzled with the logic of it's addition. We'd have certainly liked to have seen a pickle or chutney served to add an extra bite to the dish.

The Treacle Tart came out looking like heaven warmed up with a ball of creamy, smooth vanilla ice-cream sat on top. By the time we'd finished photographing it had started to melt into the tart but the presentation was great.

The treacle tart was deliciously moist in the the centre with a gentle crusting to the top adding additional texture to the dessert. The taste was on the milder side with a subtle strength. Sometimes it's easy to go overboard and this was an almost understated taste that worked exceptionally well for it's subtlety. Definitely worth trying.

The amazing Treacle Tart

We had a wonderful meal at the Queens Head in Belton. For the money (£17.95 for three courses) it represented excellent value with quality starters and desserts alongside a lovely main course. We'd happily recommend it for Sunday lunch if you're looking for inspiration in the Nottingham, Leicester or Derby area.

We have some pretty fussy parents when it comes to dining and we're pretty sure we could bring them out for dinner. There's something for the majority of tastes with a simple yet well thought out menu that should have something for everyone.

We were invited to visit the Queens Head for a food review and whilst our food bill was taken care of we've reviewed above as though we were paying customers and would more than happily go back if we were paying.

The Queens Head is at 2 Long Street in Belton, Loughborough, LE12 9TP
Bookings are recommended and can be made by calling 01530 222359 or via their website
http://queensheadbelton.co.uk/  

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