350 years old and still going strong….

Having driven past the Markham Moor Inn many times on my way to Retford  I have to confess that it never featured on my radar for food –  that is until Friday night.

After a glowing recommendation from a friend we arrived on Friday at 8pm for dinner and what a dinner it was – modern, flavoursome and amazing value for money at just £33 per head for a three course menu.

We kicked off the evening with an amuse bouche of cool potato and leek soup and some homemade breads and whipped butter. Then straight into our starters, all four of which looked and tasted sensational. Ravioli of rabbit with chicken mousse,  fondue of oyster mushrooms, parmesan and black truffle oil looked as wonderful as it tasted, The Salt cod and scallop bon bons  sitting on giant couscous and decorated with preserved lemon, samphire and warm saffron yoghurt was also a piece of art on a plate. The antipasti and Gallette of Markham’s hot smoked salmon, cromer crab and pink prawns were both  sensation too, colourful, pretty and flavoursome.

After those amazing starters the mains that followed did not disappoint and tickled our taste buds even more with amazing dish’s of Aged Yorkshire sirloin steak, caramelised red onion and thyme tart with dauphinoise potato and a Madeira sauce. This dish was very perfectly cooked with the steak perfectly pink just the way we had requested.


There was also an amazing Trio of lamb:- Rib served nice and pink with a slow cooked confit shoulder and lamb kefta crushed roast garlic sweet potato and pomegranate jus and finally the Maple glazed  pork belly, served with saute of pak choi, shiitake, shredded mange tout, new potato and apple cake.


To full for desserts but determined to battle on once we had read the sweet list we all opted for something sensational to finish off the evening. Before these came and while we had a little rest between courses we were served with a lovely little pre dessert of chocolate and passion fruit mousse it was pretty and tasty and we all begged for more once this was finished as it was so lip smakingly good!

Our desserts topped off a wonderful meal with Sugar glazed lovage creme brulee,  with a side of roasted peach ice cream. Lime and mascarpone cheesecake accompanied by watermelon salsa. Iced prune and muscat parfait, muscat jelly and tiny crumbles of tasty ginger bread and last but not least  Hot carrot pudding with butterscotch sauce and  Granny Smith compote.


Coffee and petite fours rounded off the night to perfection and we went home with a giant smile on our faces.

So in short – don’t drive by the Markham Moor Inn – STOP – go in and give them a try, we can guarantee you will be glad you did!  Husband and wife, Stephen and Laura Heath purchased this run down 350 year old roadside inn in 1999 and have slowly refurbished the interior to showcase their wonderful menus. With over 35 years in the catering industry – you will be assured a warm welcome and a happy tummy when you leave so what are you waiting for, book your table now.



Markham Moor

Old Great North Road



DN22 0PZ

Tel: 01777 838 229




Whittakers – A Contemporary Bar & Restaurant in Long Bennington.

So, having already checked out the menu the night before, I knew exactly what I was having for dinner.  Deep-fried Camembert to start, Fish and chips for main and, oh, hadn’t quite made up my mind yet as to which desert. I had thought of nothing else all day!!

We arrived for early dinner at Whittakers in Long Bennington on a not so sunny Tuesday evening. The restaurant is light and airy with the most amazing glass doors to 2 sides of the room. A lovely decked area which, on a summers evening, would be great to sit and watch the world go by with a drink of your choice. The restaurant wasn’t busy and we had a drink at the bar while Shaun chose his dinner delights. The bar is long with stools and a small seating area at the end, again the décor is up to date with stripes and neutral colours.


Food was decided and we were shown to our table.  The host was very professional and personable.  I asked if she would recommend any dishes and her reply was “they are all good!”  With a good use of the space, the tables were set with heavy cutlery and beautiful glasses.

The starters arrived and, wow, the camembert was truly delightful – it was light and crisp and the rhubarb and Almond in the accompanying chutney worked really well.  Shaun had the duck pancakes and he refused to share as they were too good. They were big and full of rich duck meat which melted on your tongue. The teriyaki sauce completed the deal.


So came out the fish and chips with homemade Tartar sauce.  Tartar Sauce is my favourite of them all and this did not disappoint, with the creamy texture and the saltiness of the capers it was a real hit. The fish was well cooked and the batter light and fluffy, big fat chips completed the dish. Shaun had opted for the steak:  this was cooked to perfection, simple steak with chips, mushroom and a grilled tomato. But as long as the steak is cooked correctly you need nothing else.

fish and chipssteakandchips

So on to desert, which neither of us really needed but, as our eyes were bigger than our bellies and our desire to taste more was rife, we ordered.  I went for the Panna cotta and Shaun chose the Chocolate Brownie with toffee sauce and white chocolate ice cream.  Wow!  Amazing!  The panna cotta was the best we had ever tasted, light, smooth and full of flavour. The brownie was a rich chocolate cake with a sweet sauce and a delicious white chocolate ice cream which complemented each other perfectly.


So with our tummies full of lovely food, and our belts adjusted slightly, we left for home.  I would absolutely recommend Whitakers for either a drink or a meal as the surrounding are perfect and the atmosphere welcoming.

A Contemporary Bar & Restaurant in Long Bennington.


96 Main Road, Long Bennington, Newark, NG23 5DJ T: 01400 282002

There’s nothing fishy about this place!


Arriving at Georges after a long old day trekking round Nottingham University – we were tired and very hungry! As we were twenty minutes early for our table we were shown to the small bar area while things were prepared. The bar might be small but its drinks menu was certainly not:  it had an amazing array of gin (such a shame I was driving), great looking cocktails and some really good beers too.  I opted for a non-alcoholic Georges Iced Tea – served in a glass tankard with a straw.  I loved it!

Soon enough we were seated and on our table, in the guise of a folded newspaper, was our menu which we browsed for a while before opting for our choices. There appeared to be lots of cool mix and match starters and, although we did not partake, the Scotch Egg which came to our neighbouring table looked delightful. Yes I know – a scotch egg for a starter, I was sceptical too but it looked big and lovely from what I saw … I will defiantly give it a go next time I visit.


So, with the mains on their way, we took time to check out our surroundings. Now Georges is not what you would call intimate dining, nor is it what you would deem a family restaurant, in fact it’s an eclectic mix of both I guess. Tables of all shapes and sizes packed into the space, lots of wall art, things handing from ceilings, odd lights, fish drawings, chalked signs and the like. The noise level was good, to say it was full to bursting while we were there – chatty and buzzing but not so loud that you had to shout to make yourself heard. Upstairs are George’s famous beach hut dining experiences, where tables for four are set inside cute painted beach huts, very retro – I really wanted to dine in one but when I called to book was told that I could not request one – it was luck of the draw to get seated in one when you arrived.  Guess my luck was elsewhere that day!  Still, I guess there is always next time – gives me a good excuse to go back.

Our mains arrived quickly and were delivered by a super-friendly waitress:  she was the right side of chatty, not too intrusive and with an engaging smile.  In fact, all of the waiting staff seemed to be smiling and enjoying serving which is a great sign of a good place, I think. Haddock and Chips – wow MASSIVE!  Served on a metal tray with a huge scoop piled high with freshly cooked proper chip shop style chips and a battered haddock – tasty flaky white fish encased in a fluffy, crispy light batter with a side of mushy peas, a large pickle and a gherkin to cut through the heavy flavours.  A tasty well balanced meal which my daughter loved, and for the first time ever she was full and fit to bursting with no room for dessert.

fish and chips

My partner tucked into a dirty big Burger and Stilton fries – not much to look at but my, oh my, they tasted amazing.  The stilton really packed a punch and the burger was well cooked. We were asked how we wanted the burger to be cooked and it came out medium, tasty and just the right size to accompany the chips.  Then there was Scampi and Chips – real scampi, tasty, delicious and golden fried.  My other daughter considers herself a scampi expert and she cleared her plate with a big thumbs up.

scampi burger

I opted for ‘Fish Finger’ – after all its 60 years since the fish finger was introduced and I thought it only fair to celebrate this great event, but this was no ordinary fish finger. It was half a haddock in a battered finger, nestled on a bed of mushy peas and encased in a toasted brioche bun with a pile of sweet potato fries – heaven on a plate! I love brioche, I love mushy peas, I love fish and I adore sweet potatoes!  My dish ticked all of my food goals, well presented, well cooked and super tasty – I was happy and full!  But as you know there is always room for a pudding.

fish finger

We opted for doughnuts, ice cream and rice pudding dishes with one daughter wimping out and just having a coffee….The rice pudding apparently was the creamiest, richest bowl of goodness my daughter had ever tasted and with a caramelised top – what’s not to love. The strawberry mint rock and blue banana ice creams tasted wonderful with a liberal sprinkling of hundreds and thousands and a good dollop of strawberry sauce on top they were lip smacking good – all of the desserts came with a side of candy floss – an amazing end to a fun and tasty meal.

ice creamrice pudding

So Georges:  it’s fun, it’s buzzing and it’s tasty, if that’s what you are looking for then go. It’s also good food served with a light hearted retro twist and I think if you wash the meals down with an amazing iced tea and finish off with a stick of candy floss then you will agree it’s a winner!!!

Over The Moon!

Finding ourselves unexpectedly free on Sunday and with no food in the house – we decided to pop out for a late lunchtime family treat and stumbled across The Full Moon Inn at sleepy little Morton.  Close to Southwell, this pub restaurant was nestling in the heart of the village and, having a great array of fine ales and beers for my partner, we decided to stay and sample their wonderful Sunday lunch menu.  The Sunday lunch menu was classically traditional with a contemporary twist and had enough dishes to satisfy the four of us with ease.

 The staff when we arrived were friendly and welcoming and we were quickly seated in the restaurant, drinks in hand and menus to browse.

Opting to skip the starters and move straight onto the mains we plumped for Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding (well it’s Sunday lunch after all!) Chicken and stuffing and a wonderful dish of Devonshire Crab Salad with fries. All arrived promptly and the presentation was wonderful with roast parsnips, roast potatoes and a watercress garnish. The side dishes were creamy leeks, carrot and broccoli and worked well with the roast dinners we had – just enough to fill you up but not belt bursting.

roast beefroast chicken

 The crab was a taste sensation and the accompanying mayo was perfect to dip the fries in. The salad was clean and refreshing and cut through the intense crabmeat to give a perfectly balanced dish. We all cleaned our plates without exception and we could not wait to see the dessert menu – see, there was method in our madness of not having a starter!



Well the dessert list was once again a lovely choice with what looked to be something for everyone – we were all tempted by the yummy sounding cheese board but in the end all opted for the lure of a traditional pudding to round off the meal.  Eaton Mess came out first – a lovely mixture of fresh and tasty strawberries nestled alongside large chunks of intensely sweet meringue and bound together with layers and layers of fresh cream. A lip smacking finish to my partner’s meal.

eaton mess


Then onto Forest Fruit Crème Brûlée accompanied by a homemade shortbread. A crispy caramelised top which you break through to find a rich eggy vanilla brûlée beneath, the fruit just adding a delightful tartness to the sweet brûlée and rounded things off perfectly – this dish was a winner in my daughter’s eyes. 

creme brulee


Last, but by no means least, was the Chocolate Brownie served with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream – it was a real show stopper for my other daughter and I.  Rich and moist with a fine crust on top, intense and chocolaty the brownie caked your mouth with a sharp dark cocoa rush and was complemented beautifully by a salty caramel sauce and a vanilla ice cream – this was the real winner of the puddings in our opinion!

chocolate brownie


So, happily full of tasty food, we merrily paid our bill which was reasonably priced indeed and made our way back home with big smiles for a post lunch nap.  We will certainly be returning again – this time perhaps to try the evening menu and, as the weather is looking decidedly autumnal, perhaps we will nestle by the open fires or in the huge arm chairs when we do.


If you are looking for a friendly down to earth pub restaurant with friendly, unhurried service and a first class value for money menu then look no further. Visit The Full Moon at Morton and be sure to leave room for dessert!


The Full Moon Inn



NG25 0UT

01636 830251



So where to eat in Newark on a Monday night?

Ok so it’s Monday night and we have an unexpected night alone without the children – let’s go out! After a quick drink in a few of the local bars we find ourselves standing on Castle gate discussing all the options. Indian, no not on a Monday, Chinese, no too far to walk, a burger, no having that next week. Italian then??? Ooh what about Il Castello we’ve not been there for a long time.

We arrive and are greeted with a really warm welcome and are shown to our table – as the restaurant is not busy we are given a choice of where we would like to sit. We chose a table near the window, the restaurant is not big by any means but it has a lovely friendly feel to it.

Once seated we order drinks and browse the menu. Lots to choose from – the mains include Pasta, Chicken, Veal, Fish and Vegetarian dishes all with a slightly different sauce’s flavoured with herbs, vegetables, cream and spices, there is enough to satisfy anyone’s taste.


For starter I choose the goats cheese, served on toasted bread with some green pesto and balsamic vinegar and a small salad side garnish. The goats cheese was beautifully cooked, charred on the outside and lovely and soft in the middle and was a tasty accompaniment to the bread and salad. Our second starter was Calamari, the batter was light and fluffy and the squid just right, easy to bite into and not over chewy as is sometimes the case it was served with a chilli mayonnaise which had a perfect little kick.


On to mains and I decided on Chicken Breast served in a Tomato, Mushroom, Pepper and Chilli sauce and my partner opted for the Veal topped with Tomato and Mozzarella. The mains came with a compliment of butter covered carrots, roasted sliced potatoes, peas and sweetcorn. The chicken was a good sized portion, well cooked, nice and moist, the sauce having a subtle fieriness every now and again, and a lovely tasty dish. The Veal was a good size with the Tomato and Mozzarella a good combination to top it off, cooked well and a tasty.

goats cheese

After clearing our plates and finishing off the vegetables we decided to look at the dessert menu….they had all the traditional Italian deserts along with some amazing sounding ice cream flavours which included Chocolate, Coconut, Hazelnut and Strawberry. Despite the desserts sounding lovely we really could not manage another thing so after a quick coffee we headed home, full and happy.

If you are looking for a lovely change on a Monday evening a visit Il Castello is a welcome change with lovely friendly staff and a menu that won’t break the bank.


Down by the Riverside……………….

Having heard good things about the Riverside Bar & Kitchen in Farndon, we decided to head down there for a drink and bite to eat to try it out. When we first arrived it was very warm indoors so we ordered our drinks and headed outside to the patio area at the rear of the pub. There is another outdoor seating area to the front of the building, with views of the River Trent, which is nice if you want to sit and watch the boats go by to and from the nearby Marina.

riverside sign

Typical of the great British summer weather, it soon started to rain, so we headed back inside and chose to sit in the restaurant and order some food.

riverside inside tooriverside inside

We had a good look at the Summer menu, which had a great selection of dishes: starters, tapas-style small plates, mains, sandwiches, chargrills and burgers, as well as an Early Bird menu which they serve Monday-Friday afternoons.

Deciding to go for a lighter meal, I opted for the Cajun Chicken burger which came with a side of chips and fresh coleslaw. A light option it was not!! It was huge. The chicken was beautifully cooked – tender and juicy – served on a Brioche bun with a slice of Emmental cheese, tomato chutney and pesto mayonnaise. The chips were fresh, hand-cut, like proper chip-shop chips – naughty, but so nice!! The coleslaw was tasty – with the added extras of red cabbage and fennel seeds.

cajun chicken

Stuart chose the Pub Battered Cod with chips and fresh mushy peas. I have to say, it looked lovely! The fish had a really light, almost tempura-like batter, which looked great – I’m not a huge fan of battered fish because the batter is usually too heavy and greasy looking for me, but I would happily order that fish. The tartare sauce was amazing! It was freshly made and had huge chunks of chopped cournichons and capers and was really fresh and creamy. Definitely the best tartare sauce I’ve ever tasted.

fish and chips

We didn’t order wine with our meals, as we just topped up the cider that we had ordered when we first arrived. For the Fruit Cider drinkers out there, there was a decent choice. I prefer a standard dry cider, but Stuart tried the Kiwi and Lime ‘Old Mout Cider’ – a brand I have not seen before, but he enjoyed it enough to order another! Other flavours they stocked in this range were Passionfruit & Apple, Summer Fruits and Pomegranate & Strawberry – all too sweet for me, but a bit different to the usual offerings, which they also stocked.

As we had only really planned to have a ‘light’ meal, neither of us opted for a dessert, but seeing other people’s orders, their desserts look amazing!!

I am told that the Riverside also serve a very good Sunday lunch, which is big enough to satisfy most healthy appetites.

It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for nicely presented, tasty food in comfortable surroundings. We will certainly go back to try the tapas and desserts!




Gurkha Greatness!!!

When a local pub closes, it can often mean the end to a vibrant village community, but in Rolleston that’s not the case.  Not only have the locals got a pub back, they have also got an amazing Nepalese/Indian restaurant to boot!  

There’s nothing more that I love than a good recommendation and so, when I heard that Gurkha One was the new kid on the block – it opened June 2015 – I just had to try it! So with a full weekend and no time to book a table, I decided that a take away would have to suffice and so that’s just what we had on Sunday evening to end our weekend in style.  Gurkha One at the Crown Rolleston is, I admit, a little confusing at first glance:  Is it a restaurant?  Is it a country pub? Well it’s both! To be fair, primarily it’s a restaurant but it does have a lovely little bar and an outside beer garden, so I guess you could say it kills two birds with one stone:  amazing food and real ales on draft all rolled into one. 


Onto our meal – when we arrived at 6pm on Sunday we realised that service ended at 6.30pm, so we grabbed a menu and a pint and headed to the beer garden to start choosing our dishes.  The lovely waiter was very informative, explaining their speciality dishes and informing us that as all dishes are prepared from scratch we could choose mild, medium or hot spices depending on individual taste. So in a hurry to get our order in before closing, we made our choices and sat in the garden soaking up the late afternoon sunshine.  We were soon joined by Jamil who explained that the restaurant had only been opened since June after a 10 week super-fast refit.  Chatting to him we soon realised that the team had brought a real passion to the place and we could not wait to tuck into the food.  

Chicken Korma was the first out of the bag, our daughter’s favourite (she is not a spice junky) and wow did it smell good – it was mild with a hint of warmth and a real depth of flavour in a creamy coconut sauce, the chunks of chicken were large and plentiful and she cleaned her plate in record time. I am not a Korma fan generally but I could have easily polished off a plate of this too.


The next dish to follow was a Gurkha One speciality – Taplejung Dumba, boneless lamb with potatoes cooked in a wonderful flavoursome sauce with Nepalese spices, the aroma from this was awesome – not quite as hot as my partner tends to like his curry, but tasty never the less. He will defiantly try this again but next time he will upgrade to hot if he can. Then onto Lamb Biryani cooked Nepalese style, five spices rice and large melt in your mouth lamb pieces finished off with a tangy raita was just delicious and again smelled just amazing, as well as tasting sensational. I am not exaggerating when I say this was the best Biryani I have had to date, and I have had more than my fair share, let me tell you.


Then along came our final dish which we plated up – Chicken Tikka Bhuna, and wow – just wow!  A tomato and black pepper sauce with a generous amount of chicken tikka pieces.  We opted for a medium spice level with this dish and it was just perfect – it had a really good flavoursome kick to each mouthful and we all had some on our plates.  It was our favourite dish by far and definitely one we will be sure to order again.

 chicken tikka bhuna

We shared sides of rice, poppadums and a fresh home prepared pickle tray with handmade mango chutney which we all fought over – this was definitely not like any jar type chutney  I had ever tasted!


 So to sum it up:  Gurkha One’s menu is spicy, its fresh, it’s vibrant, its aromatic, its filling and it’s definitelty worthy of another visit and many more takeaways.  To be fair, the dishes can be a touch on the pricey side for a mid-week takeout (take 10% off the menu prices for the takeaway) but they really are well cooked and fresh which makes them value for money.  You can taste the freshness of the dishes and the spices.  The passion in the team really does shine through in the food and we cannot wait to return because there is so many more dishes for us to try.

 If you are looking for somewhere different to visit, hurry to Gurkha One before the secrets well and truly out of the bag.  I believe even mid-week tables are filling fast so make sure you call and book to avoid disappointment.  If you love curry – you’re going to love this little rural gem.  No wonder they’re currently ranked as number one restaurant in Nottinghamshire on Trip Advisor.  Go on give it a go – its number one for a reason!!

The Crown At Rolleston

Gurkha One

Staythorpe Road – Rolleston – NG23 5SG

Tel ; 01636 819000

Email ; gurkhaone@gmail.com