Travelwatchdog is based in Lincolnshire, the county of big skies. It is hoped to progressively build a focus on life in the small area to contrast with the global scope of the site as a whole.
The Brownlow Arms - Hough on The Hill
Situated in the remote Village of Hough on the Hill, just a few miles from Grantham, The Brownlow Arms is a traditional country public house that also includes a small, but well established restaurant providing nice surroundings with a homely atmosphere. The menu covers a broad range of dishes, many outside the scope you would expect of this type of establishment. Preparation and presentation are both outstanding and the staff are well trained, pleasant and attentive. Menu prices are quite high for the area, but there is an excellent wine list offering a good range at acceptable prices. Booking is essential for most evenings.
The Hare & Hounds - Fulbeck
The Hare and Hounds, Fulbeck, was closed for a considerable period whilst extensive refurbishment was carried out . The result includes a very pleasant upstairs dining room, nicely decorated and with the capacity to host good numbers. Sadly, on our visit, the decor was the highlight of the evening. Our party of eight opted for the 'Festive Menu' offered at £18 for two courses, or £24 for three. Starters were excellent for both quantity and quality, but in place of the traditional bread roll, for many an important feature when dining out, those ordering soup received some very ordinary bread, crudely hacked from the loaf. It may have been intentionally rustic, but experienced diners would instantly suspect a mistake!
Among the three non-vegetarian main courses were 'Five Spice Half Roast Duck' and 'Pan Seared Fillet of Turbot', each of which dishes were selected by individuals in our party of 8. The Duck was well presented and the breast meat excellent. However, the leg was a little tougher than one would wish to cope with. The Turbot was an unbelievably small portion that would probably have been rejected as a starter and was certainly of insufficient size to make up the fish course in an eight-course 'Nouvelle Cuisine' feast. When the waitress was asked if this represented the total dish, she returned from the kitchen to announce (to an experienced former Fishmonger) "Its a very expensive fish"! There was an offer to produce a different dish, but at this stage the other seven diners had been served, so the choice being offered was really to eat alone, observed by seven spectators. Vegetables were fresh and well cooked, but served in a totally insufficient quantity for eight diners. More were offered, but appeared after the main course had been consumed (with the Turbot, this did not take long!).
Needless to say, one of the party asked to see the manager. He was not available at the time, but a waitress returned about ten minutes later to say that he was now available as he was "now off the phone". Perhaps this sums up the priorities of the establishment or maybe there should be a question in a Chef's examination paper. viz:
"You have furious diners in your restaurant and you are on the telephone. Do you:
a. Ignore the diners and carry on your conversation and keep them waiting for ten minutes or,