Summer dining at The Queen’s Head
This month Katrina Burrill and guests visited The Queen’s Head at Kirkby la Thorpe to enjoy some traditional flavours prepared with real creative flair.
It’s always a pleasure to visit John and his team at The Queen’s Head. Whether you have been before or it is your first time, guests are quickly made to feel special and almost like one of the family.
The pub has a homely atmosphere, and if my memory serves me correctly it is very similar to a pub my grandparents owned when I was a child, so there is a nostalgia that attracts me whenever we visit. The bare brick walls with deep red furnishings are a traditional break from many of the modern choices available.
John has a long history with local produce, having grown up on a farm in North Lincolnshire. He also brings to the restaurant experience of creating dishes whilst living in the heart of the Burgundy wine region. As a result, he has managed to create menus with a wide range of tasty dishes.
On arrival our waiter offered us drinks whilst we sat in the lounge perusing the menu and specials board. It’s always a hard choice, as my go-to options are usually the scallop salad, followed by the roast duck, but on this visit I did persuade myself to try something different.
The menu is full of tempting ideas. I opted for the prawn cocktail whilst one of my two guests chose the scallop salad. As expected both the dishes were extremely well presented, tasted beautiful and hit the right note. The number of scallops in the salad was fantastic, although the dish was quite large for a starter – my guest, however, had no trouble clearing his plate.
For the main course, I was in the mood for trying one of the steaks, and opted for my favourite cut of a rump which was served with homemade chips, grilled tomato, mushrooms and large homemade onion rings. The meat was perfectly tender, and rare to my liking. I always find it difficult to find places that can cook steak particularly well, so was very happy with my choice. We also chose the grilled fillet of salmon with asparagus and one of the specials of the day, Bridlington dressed crab with new potatoes. Again both the presentation and overall standard of each dish was extremely high, and it is easy to see why John has such a loyal following of customers who return on a regular basis.
Our dining out reviews are one of the only times I ever manage a three-course meal, but I have a sweet tooth so would always opt for a dessert over a starter. After struggling to decide, I chose the duo of desserts: a chocolate torte with a raspberry crème brûlée. Luckily only one of my other guests was choosing their own dessert, so the duo was shared between two of us, which I think is the perfect way to end a meal. The chocolate torte was rich, but in no way overpowering, and as an avid lover of crème brûlée, I can say this was created perfectly, with a warm shell. The other guest went for a traditional choice of summer berry Pavlova with fresh berries. John’s creativity was perfectly reflected here, with the meringue designed to look like a swan – extremely cute, making it hard to take the first bite and ruin the overall look.
It is not all about the food, though, and we did take time to visit the bar, sampling some of their cask ales and gins, a perfect treat on a Saturday evening.
During the week John hosts a couple of speciality evenings. On a Thursday you can enjoy steak night, a starter, main course and glass of wine for £17.95. Friday is fish night, where you can choose from a wide range of local fish, freshly caught.
I would thoroughly recommend a visit to The Queen’s Head, whether for a casual lunch, dinner with friends or a family celebration.