The King’s Head’s tribute to tradition with a twist
Barbara Young enjoys the delights of the relaxed vibe at the historic King’s Head Hotel in Louth, with great food and excellent service over a three-course supper.
Ideally located in the centre of Louth, the iconic and handsome King’s Head Hotel, a former 18th-century coaching inn, has long been a popular choice with locals and visitors alike.
Whether you’re looking for the perfect place to enjoy a traditional Sunday lunch, a quick, refreshing light bite, leisurely afternoon tea, or generous evening meal, this much admired hotel pub and restaurant is the perfect spot to while away some time, enjoying the welcoming hospitality and choice of family favourite dishes on its menus which cater for all tastes and budgets.
On a midweek early evening when we visited, the downstairs bar and outside beer garden were buzzing with a happy and friendly clientele of all ages enjoying a lively, welcoming atmosphere, where visitors are soon made to feel part of the family.
We dined in the stylish restaurant Upstairs at the Kings, a contemporary and spacious 44-seat eatery, decorated with a nod to the 1960s Mods and Rockers music culture, which serves lunchtime and evening meals with dishes created by a talented, dedicated team. There is also a contemporary Bistro downstairs.
Running front of house upstairs was Declan, who deserves a special shout out for his exceptional customer care and dedicated professionalism, making sure that diners are looked after and feel cherished throughout. This is a young man who clearly relishes and enjoys his job.
We chose to start with two classic fishy favourites: smoked salmon and prawn cocktail, served on a bed of mixed leaves and with a Marie Rose sauce, and a creamy salmon and spring onion mousse with Melba toast. Both were light, well flavoured and neatly presented.
For cheese lovers, there is also the trio of cheese (cubes of Gruyère rolled in puff pastry, halloumi sticks and battered brie wedges deep fried), served with garlic mayonnaise, as well as a Camembert starter served with toasted ciabatta.
There was plenty to choose from on the mains menu too, including classic home-made steak and ale pie, lamb’s liver and bacon, homemade lasagne and Cajun chicken fajitas, served with sour cream, guacamole, salad and chips.
We chose the mixed grill, featuring a real “meat feast” of grilled rump steak, chicken, gammon and Lincolnshire sausage, served with hand-cut chips, fried egg, peas, mushrooms, onion rings and tomato with each element perfectly cooked and the meat moist and flavoursome.
We also selected the pan-fried chicken breast with creamy Stilton and white wine sauce, which was succulent and proved a perfect combination.
Declan confirmed that all the meat on the menu was provided by the town’s award-winning butchers Woolliss & Sons, who offer a wide variety of locally farmed, fresh quality meat.
There is plenty of choice for vegans and vegetarians too, with excellent options including brie and broccoli bake, mushroom risotto and stroganoff, as well as beetroot, red pepper and quinoa burger.
Feeling comfortably full, it would have been easy to decline a dessert but the menu was too tempting!
How to choose between home-made cheesecake and cream, sticky toffee pudding or warm chocolate brownie? Having seen a glorious dessert being delivered to a neighbouring table, we couldn’t resist the Eton Mess and hazelnut chocolate brownie sundaes.
Having had initial reservations that our eyes might have been bigger than our stomachs, when the two indulgent sundaes arrived, we thought we might only manage a couple of spoonfuls, but were actually pleasantly surprised by just how light and easy to eat they were – needless to say we finished and scraped the bottom of both dishes!
The King’s Head Hotel, which dates back more than 250 years and has been sympathetically restored, is also a popular music venue. Bands play at weekends in the bar, there are special gigs in the function room upstairs and the hotel is also hosting the popular annual Zero Degrees Festival, Louth’s celebration of the arts, music, dance, and comedy this month (June), with the staging outside in the garden.
If you’re looking to enjoy a quiet meal for two or a catch-up with a group of friends and family, treat yourself to a visit to the King’s Head, where you’ll relish the plentiful choice of generous, well cooked and presented dishes which use premium ingredients to maximum effect – you won’t be disappointed!