Enjoy winter warmers in a classic country inn
Holly Christian visits The Red Lion in Caythorpe to sample its delicious new winter menu featuring hearty and popular traditional English dishes.
Set in the picturesque rural village of Caythorpe, near Grantham, The Red Lion is a delightful 17th century pub which offers a popular selection of well prepared traditional English dishes featuring the freshest ingredients.
Owned and run by Simon Farr and Becky Hall, who leads the efficient front of house team, the couple have sympathetically refurbished this cosy retreat with a tasteful modern décor featuring soft lighting to create a warm, friendly and relaxed atmosphere with a hint of traditional charm.
An ideal spot for walkers and cyclists to stop off for a break and bite to eat in the daytime, The Red Lion is also dog-friendly and there is a pleasant outdoor seating area to enjoy relaxing, with a drink, or curl up in the cosy snug in front of the open fire.
Since taking over the pub in August 2019, Simon and Becky have remained committed to providing superb freshly made dishes, devised by dedicated head chef Mark Perryman, together with well kept real ales plus an excellent selection of wines to match all tastes and budgets.
Having been at the head of the kitchen helm for the past 10 years, Mark’s extensive seasonal menu caters very well for a range of dietary requirements and intolerances and also plays to the strengths of seasonal produce from the local area.
Becky and Simon remain conscious of food miles ensuring the food they serve is sustainable as well as delicious, with meat from Gelston Lamb, freshly baked bread from Welbourne’s, beef and pork supplied by Odling’s, fresh fruit and vegetables from Clements, Spalding and potatoes from GR Ward.
Sampling the new winter menu
We visited The Red Lion on a busy Saturday evening, but this did not distract from enjoying a pleasant, relaxed dining experience in one of the two dining rooms at the rear of the property, which is decorated in warm muted colours.
The menu featured a great range of choices, with a selection of further mouth-watering options on the seasonal specials board, which changes daily.
We chose from the new winter menu which features many easily recognisable popular classics, such as Whitby whole tail scampi, or Rumpole steak and ale pudding, as well as the more cosmopolitan inspired Chicken Katsu schnitzel with baby corn and pak choi served with coconut and saffron jasmine rice, and grilled “no pork” koftas with Moroccan Orzo, grilled vegetables and sun dried tomato tapenade.
After much deliberation I chose to start our meal with the homemade chicken liver pâté with apple and ale chutney, served with toasted gluten free rye bread.
This smooth savoury pâté combined with the sweet and chunky chutney was a great mix of flavours which complemented each other well.
My guest opted for the soup of the day, which on this evening featured homemade French onion served with Welbourne bakery’s artisan sourdough bread (also gluten free) with a chunk of Emmental cheese – again a beautiful combination of flavours.
Turning to the main course, we were tempted by the Indian spiced lamb burger with salad and sweet potato fries, lime pickle and minted cucumber yoghurt, as well as the slow cooked belly pork with black pudding and sausage slice.
However, I couldn’t resist trying the slow cooked BBQ rack of ribs, twice cooked chips and homemade coleslaw, which tasted just as good as they looked with the soft flavoursome meat simply falling off the bones.
My guest opted for the staple pub favourite: beer battered haddock fillet and twice cooked chips, served with a choice of garden or mushy peas, which featured super fresh tasting fish and crispy fries.
Desserts were also a triumph with several tempting sweet treats on offer, but even though neither of us felt we had room to indulge further following such generous portions, we gave in and tried the indulgent Cookies and Cream Cheesecake with whipped cream and gloriously melt in the mouth chocolate brownie, which completed our feast in fine style.
Lunch at The Red Lion is served from 12noon to 3pm while dinner is on offer from 6pm to 9pm, Tuesday to Saturday – with Sunday lunch from 12noon until 6pm. Takeaways are also available for collection.
If you’re looking to get together to celebrate the festive season with friends and family ahead of the big day, don’t miss the special Christmas menu available from Tuesday 30th November to Thursday 23rd December, or book in for a special James Bond 007 themed evening on New Year’s Eve. And if you want to treat a loved one to a special present, choose a gift voucher so they can enjoy a meal out on a date of their choice.
Full of charm, with great pub food, this popular favourite is a real gem in the countryside.