I’m determined that next time I write a food review I won’t need to start it by making reference to the weather.
But for what seems like as long as I can remember now, a key criteria in my choice of restaurants has been their cosiness factor.
Will it be warm enough to stop me from having to wear my coat indoors? Will the food be hearty and warming? Will they have a nice fireplace?
And, so it was, that my husband and I found ourselves looking for somewhere to eat after work on a particularly chilly Monday evening, plans once again thwarted by the weather.
We’d hoped to take a nice steady wander in to town after work, maybe stopping at a few bars for pre-dinner drinks, but by the time it got to 5pm and the snow was still falling the only thing I really wanted to do was just get in the car and drive until we found somewhere warm.
Which is how we ended up in Wilford.
As I racked my brains for somewhere nice to go that wouldn’t involve two microwaved meals for a fiver and a side order of greasy chips I remembered hearing friends sing the praises of The Wilford Green.
Recently renovated and with new owners, the pub is gaining a reputation as a great place to go for decent pub grub.
It’s in a bit of an odd location on the main road out to the A453 and doesn’t look that appealing from the outside, but the inside has stylish new decor and we received a really warm welcome.
Food-wise, the menu has all the traditional pub favourites, as well as some slightly more adventurous dishes you might not expect to see, like mussels in a provencal sauce and a broad bean, pea and parsley risotto.
The specials were chalked up on a large blackboard in the corner and it took quite some time to narrow down what we were going to have. Signs dotted around the pub explained their emphasis on locally-sourced produce, and you felt that you really were getting proper home-cooked food.
In the end I went for the slow-cooked British beef stew, just the thing for a cold January night. Shame it was almost April.
When it arrived I was slightly disappointed with the size of the serving, which looked a little on the small side, but this soon subsided once I tasted it. The beef was tender and full of flavour and the sauce was rich and fulsome.
What made it even better was the buttered mash it was served with. I dread to think how much butter was in it, but it was beautifully creamy and smooth. A real guilty pleasure.
My husband chose the stilton burger, which came on a wooden platter and was absolutely enormous. So often you get a tiny scraping of cheese with a dish like this, but this was crammed with stilton, so much so that there was plenty spare for me to melt in to the sauce on my plate and I can confirm it was absolutely delicious.
Wee decided not to stay for dessert, but the choice did look great – again, traditional favourites like sticky toffee pudding and apple pie.
The service throughout our meal was great. Our waitress, who also seemed to be running the bar, was chatty and friendly and made us feel really welcome.
The only slight downside was that, although there is a fire/log burner, someone had already nabbed the seat nearest that, and it was a bit chilly everywhere else. I’m pretty sure this was an exception as it was SO cold outside, but it stopped us from staying longer than we might have done otherwise, which was a shame.
But with warmer weather on the way, and the menu changing all the time to reflect what’s in season, I will definitely be making another visit in the future.
- What we ate:Slow cooked British beef stew, greenbeans and buttered mash £11.90
Stilton burger £9.90
250ml glass of pinot grigiot £5.20
250ml glass of shiraz £5.20
FIRST PUBLISHED IN NOTTINGHAM POST – MARCH 2013.