Forging a family business
Katrina Burrill visits the Ingram Arms in Laughton, near Gainsborough.
For this month’s review I headed north of the county, about forty minutes from Lincoln, but just a short ten-minute drive from Gainsborough. The Ingram Arms is a family owned pub, which has been in the same family for over thirty years. Sara and son Joe run every aspect of the pub from the kitchen to the bar. Over the years they have learnt and adapted to current trends to achieve a business that works for their customers.
“We’ve been in the business for many years. Over this time the industry has changed significantly from what it was when we bought the pub in the late 1980s to what it is today. We’ve made significant changes to the way the business is run to meet demands, however it is still a tough industry to be in,” said Sara.
“Our motto is to provide a great experience for all our guests, whether they’re just popping in for a drink, or for those wanting to dine with us. Our menu focuses on traditional, heart-warming options that people enjoy whilst also introducing new flavours for those looking for something a bit different.”
To keep up with demand and create new experiences, the family have recently opened two B&B rooms in the upstairs accommodation as well as a new play area for kids and families to enjoy all year round.
We visited on a Tuesday evening and were welcomed by Sara who showed us through to the bar and dining room, where we were introduced to Joe, before being seated with our drinks and menus. For our starters I opted for the Cajun chicken fillets with a garlic and lemon dip and my guest chose the soup of the day, which was tomato. The soup was extremely fresh, and my guest commented on the fact that it hadn’t been pureed, which he preferred as it allowed the flavours to be more intense with every mouthful.
For our main courses I chose the Fisherman’s Platter, a selection of fish including scallops, king prawns, salt and pepper squid, scampi and a battered haddock fillet. Whilst I do enjoy a lot of fish, this could have been a perfect size for two people. My guest chose the beef and onion pie, which is cooked fresh. The beef was tender and the pie crust freshly made. This was served with mashed potato and vegetables. They also offer a grill menu including steaks and burgers, classics such as smothered chicken and sausage and mash, whilst their around the world menu has options including beef Cantonese, Chinese curry and chicken carbonara.
The dessert menu changes regularly and during our visit had choices such as treacle tart, mint chocolate sundae and a sherry trifle. We chose a classic banana split and the vanilla cheesecake to finish our meal. All the dishes are prepared onsite and Sara is happy to provide alternatives for visitors with any allergies.