in recent months, there's been something special going on behind the doors of the queen of bradgate pub on leicester high street. from first impressions when walking into the newly renovated place, i can only imagine it involved a lot of colourful paint, restoring lots of retro furniture, unveiling original features and polishing rows of beer taps for local leicestershire ales. not to mention time spent devising a delicious sounding british inspired menu.
the beer list boasts the likes of leicestershire's everards, oakham ales and draught from staffordshire's freedom brewery as well as further afield belgian, indian and pale ales. sam went for a pint of the freedom four, a pale lager with a toasted malt aroma and light citrus fruit undertones which makes it great for teaming with salty and spicy flavours. i went for a glass of my current favourite, pinot grigio blush, whilst eyeing up the menu.
for starter, sam decided on the whipped goats cheese, pickled beetroot and sticky walnut salad (£6), whilst i opted for the crispy ham hock and gruyere fritters with english mustard and cress (£6). i don't know what made me choose this as i've been plumping for vegetarian and seafood dishes a lot lately, but something inside was drawing me to this one. now i know why.
as i tucked in, i discovered the scotch egg style fritter was packed with glorious pulled ham hock, entwined with creamy cheese and scatterings of popping mustard seeds. i hadn't known what to expect but this was just fantastic. it got me thinking that these would be a brilliant posh pub snack and maybe as the queen of bradgate's menu develops they could create a taster menu for the bar.
the combination of the goat's cheese, beetroot, rocket and walnut is of course one of the holy grails of culinary combinations, and the proportions were just right.
i really enjoyed this dish; a light and smokey bed of beans, earthy wilted spinach and charred, meaty hake. i did expect more chunky pieces of chorizo and think if there were crisped up pieces dotted through the dish that would have been the icing on the cake.
the steak went down well too; cooked to a well rested medium with the official grill marks of approval. the chips were seasoned with paprika and of course a generous portion of homemade mayonnaise shortly followed.
in all, a well rounded gastropub meal with a menu which is both interesting and crowdpleasing. they're not all grub either, the place doubles up as a showroom for their upcoming furniture design company queen b. interiors. so i can go back and buy that pretty colourful dining set afterall...
find out more at queen of bradgate ♥
queen of bradgate
97 high st, leicester le1 4jb.
note: i was invited to the newly opened restaurant for a complimentary meal. all opinions are honest and my own.