Restaurant review, The Lindsey Rose: “This place has really been turned around”
- Credit: Archant
Charlotte Smith-Jarvis eats at The Lindsey Rose, which is under new management and has undergone a complete refurbishment.
It’s been a couple of years since I walked over the threshold here. Being only a five minute drive from home, it’s somewhere we used to head to regularly when our children were small for really decent pub grub (but mostly because the garden is huge and there’s loads of space for restless youngsters to run around).
Why did we stop going? In our opinion the food offering definitely decreased in quality. Such a shame. But this year the pub has been completely renovated and brought back to life by Charles Buckle – who’s probably one of the youngest landlords in Suffolk.
I visited with a couple of gal pals – both of them vegetarian (well one a pescatarian really), all of us totally famished.
While we waited we ordered a couple of rounds of homemade bread which, while very nice indeed with its hint of rosemary, was a measly portion for £2.50. A few thin slices was really not enough for that price.
But onwards and upwards. Anna was very pleased with her charred orange and fennel salad with toasted pumpkin seeds and pomegranate. It was a pretty, delicate plate of food – the nutty nature of the seeds giving it an edge. But it needed a dressing to tie it together.
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Rachel’s pearl barley and pea ‘risotto’ cakes were scrumptious, with plenty of texture (they weren’t pappy at all) and the saffron cream and minted pea puree with them were an interesting addition – working with, rather than against one another flavour-wise.
I couldn’t get enough of my ample pot of smoked mackerel pate. There were no bones to report. And it was just subtly smoky – not so powerful I was going to taste it with every other course.
Being the sole meat eater on the table I thought I’d have a crack at the roast Suffolk chicken. A far cry from the usual dry, shrivelled up birds you might be served in a pub, the meat was so utterly juicy and succulent. Alongside were rolled, boned chicken thighs filled with stuffing and rolled in bacon, al dente veg, skin-on crunchy roasties and a Chardonnay gravy. So so tasty. I’d love to see what they do with a bit of beef on a Sunday.
Anna tucked into an enormous plate of Adnams Mosaic battered cod (so huge she couldn’t finish it) served with moreish minted peas, and excellent chips.
Rachel gave the nod of approval for her caramelised shallot and baby beetroot tarte tatin with crumbled feta and rocket. The pastry was well cooked, the topping mouthwatering, with its blend of tangy, vinegary beet and salty feta. But my god, they couldn’t have got any more rocket on top if they tried. Finding the tart under the forest of green was a trick without sending the leaves tumbling to the table. It was almost as though a whole bag of the stuff had been decanted over the plate. Really they needed to hold back here, to serve it on the side in a dressing.
To finish we tried a brownie, Bakewell tart and roast pineapple pavlova with rum and coconut ice cream. The best of the lot was the intensely chocolatey brownie, which we all tucked into. The Bakewell was good but a little dry. But we found the pavlova disappointing. What we wanted was meringue that crackled on the outside, with a chewy, gooey inside, but this was like one of those powdery shop-bought ones. We couldn’t detect any rum. The good bit was the coconut ice cream – which would have been better on its own.
It’s clear the locals are loving having their pub back on form. It was pretty busy for an early Saturday night. The interior hasn’t suffered the fate of becoming a too-cool-for-school gastropub, with Charles keeping it simple and elegantly rustic.
The crowning glory is definitely the enormous garden, overlooking neighbouring farmland. It’s one of the biggest pub gardens I’ve seen in the area.
A decent selection of local ales at the bar will please beer drinkers. We shared a bottle of prosecco…just because.
Really friendly. Both Charles and his girlfriend were out on the floor that night and you could see they genuinely wanted everyone to enjoy their food and have a good time.
Lindsey is a short drive from Hadleigh. Tucked in a teensy hamlet, surrounded by nature, it’s a lovely spot.
There’s loads on site. You won’t struggle.
Three courses for three, with a couple of rounds of bread, an extra portion of chips and a bottle of fizz came in at little over £90 – not bad.
The fish and chips was excellent, but I was impressed by the roast chicken. I can’t think of anything they could have done better on that plate – aside from pop a Yorkshire pud on top (but we all know it’s against the law to serve one of those with anything but roast beef).
The Lindsey Rose is one of those pubs you hope to stumble upon when you’re out on a walk or bike ride. It’s unstuffy. The staff are welcoming ( I know this because I went for a drink with some sweaty mates after a run nearby shortly after and they didn’t blink an eye). And there’s some solid cooking going on.
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