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The Queen’s Head Inn,
Kirkby La Thorpe, Sleaford NG34 9NU
T: 01529 305743
W: www.thequeensheadinn.com

Words: Katrina Burrell
Photography: Katrina Burrell
Featured in the January 2013 issue

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Katrina Burrill visits The Queen’s Head Inn in Kirkby La Thorpe.

Nestled in the south of the countryside The Queen’s Head Inn offers a cosy, yet stylish setting. With a traditional bar and a large open fireplace the entrance is at the heart of the pub. The restaurant spans two separate areas offering dinners a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. During the summer months there is also a large garden.

Owner and chef, John Clark has turned the pub into an acclaimed restaurant and serves a menu to rival many other eateries. With a passion for creating beautiful food, stemming from his upbringing on a farm in North Lincolnshire, and his experience working at the Château de Bellecroix in Chagny, in the heart of the Burgundy wine region John came back to his roots and bought The Queen’s Head, where he now serves an array of locally produced food.

When we arrived we were welcomed into the warm bar area and offered drinks and a menu to peruse while taking in the setting. In the bar there was an open fire which gave out plenty of warmth and made it feel more homely.

The Queen’s Head serves many different menus including the lunch menu, supper time specials, à la carte and Sunday lunch. There was plenty to choose from and my partner and I decided to choose from the à la carte options. There was also a blackboard with daily specials.

For my starter I had the warm salad of seared king scallops and smoked pancetta, warm lemon and white wine vinaigrette dressing with crispy croutons. The scallops were cooked to perfection and worked wonderfully with the pancetta and salad. The dressing offered a light accompaniment and enhanced the flavour of the rest of the dish. The portion size was also perfect as a starter and left me looking forward to the rest of the meal.

My partner opted to have fresh salmon and coriander fishcakes with dressed baby leaves and a pot of sweet chilli jam. The fishcakes were packed full with flavours and the jam was a wonderful idea as an accompaniment.

For my main course I chose the roast breast of Gressingham duck on a bed of orange braised red cabbage with a piquant orange and cognac sauce. The duck breast melted in your mouth and the cabbage had a beautiful flavour of orange and worked well with the duck. It was accompanied by a dish of fresh vegetables and a bowl of chips.

My partner chose the duo of pork which was served with black pudding, crackling and a mushroom. The pork was succulent and cooked to perfection. The black pudding had been fried in a batter which added a new dimension to the dish and it was served on a plate with green beans and grapes. It was also accompanied with local vegetables, potatoes and chips.

While we were letting our main courses settle we were able to take in the atmosphere and decoration in the dining room. Although it was a cold and windy night outside, the restaurant had a wonderful ambiance. There were many diners, some of whom were there with family and friends for an evening out and there were also some Christmas parties. It was clear to see that John had spent time decorating both the restaurant and bar area and it was designed to a high specification. The building has retained its character with open fireplaces and beams, but also had a sense of the modern with textured wallpapers. It had a wonderful homely feel that was hard to leave at the end of the evening.

For dessert my partner chose to have the chocolate, cherry and rum roulade served with a vanilla ice-cream. I opted for the Bailey’s Irish Cream crème brûlée which was served with a homemade butter shortbread. The crème brûlée was soft and mouthwatering and the shortbread was beautifully baked.

Whether you are looking for a simple lunch menu or an exclusive dining experience, The Queen’s Head has something to suit all tastes and is well worth a visit.

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