At the end of last month me and my girlfriends headed for our bi-monthly get together and this time we decided to go for dinner at the wonderful Red Lion in Waterend. The Red Lion is an old coaching inn dating back to 1730 and it used to have a Brewhouse, two cellars and six rooms, and occupied three acres of land complete with animals and farm equipment. Nowadays it’s the most gorgeous gastro pub, with decadent interior, friendly staff and tasty food. It was the perfect place for a catch up with the girls!
I’ve previously dined at a few others of the Oakman Inns pubs including our favourite The Navigation at Cosgrove in Milton Keynes. We head there quite a lot, both with friends and family, and I even celebrated my birthday there last year. We just love to atmosphere of Oakman Inns pubs and I can’t wait to visit more of their pubs across the southern region. We mostly go to our local due to the menu, so I was delighted when I realised The Red Lion also had the same menu – including my favourite dish Pollo Piccante!
Dedicated to preparing their dishes with quality produce and fresh ingredients, they source their meat and poultry from British farmers and select free-range eggs and responsibly sourced fish. All dishes are freshly prepared to order and cooked in their ‘theatre-style’ open kitchen, many on the Josper grill using traditional cooking techniques and they’ve even got a wood-fired oven in the kitchen, where they make handmade rustic Italian pizzas cooked by the trained Pizzaioli chef!
And if you have special dietary requirements, they’ve also got a range of dishes to suit everyone with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options – and you’ll also find ‘Gary’ the dairy-free vegan ‘cheese’ included in some of the recipes.
For our food, we chose a selection of dishes from the ‘Nibbles’ menu to share including Red Pepper and Garlic Hummus with Puccia bread, Pork Belly Bites with apple sauce, Sicilian Olives marinated in chilli and garlic and the best one on the menu, Halloumi Chips with a spicy tomato sauce.
For mains, I opted for my all-time favourite dish Pollo Picante, a half boneless chicken, marinated in a picante rub, and it also comes with a harissa mayonnaise, garlic and basil marinated tomatoes, dressed rocket and sweet potato fries. Grace opted for the Quattro Stagioni, with smoked pancetta, artichokes, mixed mushrooms, olives, fresh basil, tomato sauce, mozzarella, and it looked divine!
Katie opted for the vegan Tortiglioni All’Arrabbiata Al Forno; pasta with an oven-baked tomato and white wine sauce, chilli, friarielli, parsley, Gary and pangrattato. And lastly, Amy opted for the Chicken Caesar Salad, with Josper-grilled chicken breast, soft-boiled free-range egg, salted anchovies, pancetta, Parmigiano-Reggiano and house Caesar dressing. All of the dishes were perfectly displayed and tasted amazing.
After a massive meal, that had left us all feeling full to the brim of out stomachs, we ended the meal with a glass of prosecco as I asked my best friend Katie to be my Maid of Honour! It was a great end to the most perfect evening with my best friends and great food!
*I was invited to The Red Lion for a complimentary meal. As always opinions are my own!