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!