Update – March 5 2012
Thanks very much to Ray Blockley (see comments) who has visited recently and indicates that this pub has really gone down hill. What a shame!
I haven’t been to The Trent Lock since May 2011 as it’s off my beaten track. Now that the weather is getting a bit better, we’ll try to get over there to take another look. In the meantime, please keep an open mind about my original review, and if you’ve been recently, please let us know what you think.
Original review May 2011
The day we chose to review The Trent Lock was just about the only day in May when we had rain. Oh boy did it rain! It was a Bank Holiday – what else! After a half hours walk along Lock Lane I was beginning to hope fervently that we were not going to be disappointed with our trek. I have said elsewhere that I’m not really “into food pubs” so I didn’t have high expectations.
When we arrived we were favourably struck by the elegant imposing exterior, which says a lot given the unremittingly leaden skies. The handsome, large beer garden bordering the river conjured up in my imagination thoughts of blissful summer evenings (a long way removed from this grey day in May).
Approaching the entrance there was a momentary wobble as we noted that piped music was floating out of the entrance spoiling the ambience a little (or maybe the rain was making us over grumpy). Once inside, however we found that the lovely hubbub of gentle conversation wasn’t being overwhelmed by the musak and we could pretty much ignore it.
The pub is divided into a large dining area, and a few smaller more informal areas. We settled for a table in the lounge. Comfy chairs helped our mood which was rising all the while as we took in the surroundings and assessed the available cask ales.
Five residents, Black Sheep, Old Speckled Hen, Sharps Doombar, Marstons Pedigree and Bateman’s Trent Lock. 2 guests: Cropton Brewery Dragon Slayer English IPA, and Harviestoun American IPA.
I found the English IPA, DragonSayer very much to my taste and we also sampled the American IPA and Trent Lock concluding that they were all extremely well kept.
A warm glow of contentment having settled on us we began to discuss the all important question: should we stay for lunch? The menu is excellent. Being perhaps over critical, there aren’t that many interesting vegetarian or vegan options but what there are look good. If you’re a carnivore you are well catered for and I intend in the future to try the venison which I understand is the chef’s signature dish.
We had a meze tasting platter which was spot on with all freshly made ingredients and a roast beef dinner, again it was well made, home cooked and the vegetables were fresh and only the broccolli was boiled to death (isn’t it always?).
Examination of the menus indicate that the focus is not mainly on serving alcoholic drinks. There’s a weekend breakfast menu, a childrens menu, and cream teas and cakes are available. Monday to Saturday, before 5pm there’s a very affordable fixed price menu: £6 for one course, £8 for two, and £10 for a three course meal.
The surroundings are extremely well done. The refurbishment has been done carefully with a view to providing a comfortable, rustic “country pub” feel. The exposed beams and decor are exactly right, and are in keeping with the age of the building and its excellent location. The customers were clearly delighted with new pub/restaurant: by quarter past one it was standing room only.
We are keen to make a return visit, we’re just waiting for a bit of decent weather. Might have a while to wait…(grump).