The lady at the checkout in the Co-op whose opinion I value assured me that the food at the Admiral Rodney was very good indeed. I had been meaning to take another look at this grand old pub for some time, so I decided to pay a visit. From my neck of the woods, I’d need to catch a couple of buses, but it was a nice sunny day so I wasn’t bothered about the weather. I’d last been to the Rodney in more affluent times. I remember the place decked out, resplendent with hanging baskets. In those days of course, the summers really were summers. Skies were guaranteed to be kingfisher blue and my waist size was several inches smaller than it is now. Was I going to be disappointed? This was the worry. They always say, don’t go back – it’ll never be as good as the image embelished by the passing years…
Getting off the bus, I was relieved to find that Wollaton village was as charming as ever, now sadly minus it’s delightful post office. But hey! The church was still there and behold! The Rodney still had hanging baskets! The exterior was smart and looked after and the day was shaping up just fine.
We entered, and were met with that lovely coolness you get from old buildings with thick walls. The interior was exactly as I’d remembered it. Splendid bay windows and warm wood panelling. I guess, over the years the odd bandit and plasma screen may have crept in but the overall impression was pretty favourable. The customers were obviously enjoying the ambience. You could see that it it was something of a home from home for them.
There was a good range of cask ales: Adnam’s Broadside, Timothy Taylor’s Bitter, Courage Directors, London Pride and a couple of guests: Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, and Bombardier. I tried the Broadside. It seemed perfect for the surroundings: rich fruitcake, seet malty, full flavoured and deep ruby colour to match the wood panels!
We tried the “Whitby breaded scampi” and it was tasty and nicely presented.
Wollaton is fortunate to have a number of decent pubs, but I think if you’re looking for a building with great character and ambience – the Rodney has it in spades!