Lunch at The Crooked Billet

April 30, 2018

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A long time ago when we last had a warm and sunny day - be honest, it does feel like ages ago - TG and I took a trip to the Crooked Billet in Newton Longville.

After hearing the buzz about this place, it is somewhere we have been meaning to go to for quite a while, but each time something seemed to get in our way.

There's the time we planned to walk there, but the weather was against us. And the time we did walk there on what was a bright and sunny day, only to find it closed for refurbishment.

This time, hearing it had reopened, we took a drive out of sheer laziness, and found ourselves standing in their lovely beer garden.

There has been a change of faces at the Crooked Billet over the past couple of months, as well as a change of look. Having only briefly seen what it looked like before, there has definitely been a major change. The bar and restaurant are brighter and airier and the place does feel bigger (see top picture).

We were made to feel welcome and the atmosphere was lovely with clearly happy staff. Dog owners are also welcome with water bowls near the door and a choice of dog biscuits.

We grabbed a couple of drinks from the bar - gin and tonic for me and lemonade for the driver - and took a seat. Being hayfever season, TG does suffer, so we found a nice comfortable table inside by one of the windows.

A gin and tonic in a very big glass at the Crooked Billet

The menu is extensive including sharing platters, multiple mains, and steaks and burgers from the chargrill. Having thought we'd made a decision about what we wanted, we discovered the menu had a second side, and had to think again.

It turned out it was a burger kind of day. I chose the Crooked Cajun chicken burger, while TG went for the Billet Burger. And good choices they were too.

Both burgers came out with plenty of golden, crispy chips, coleslaw and a gherkin on the side, which is a nice touch to cater for those who haven't yet joined the gherkin revolution but might want to dip their toe into the water. I'm late to it myself.

Cajun chicken burger in a brioche bun with chips on the side

The chicken burger contained a proper chargrilled chicken breast, well cooked but not at all dry. The chipotle mayonnaise added a nice touch and the gherkin went well with the burger. It did have the dreaded brioche bun, but I think I can forgive that given the rest of the meal was so good. I could tell TG enjoyed his because there was silence, although neither of us are much for conversation when eating. I refer you to the Homer Simpson mantra, "Can't talk, eating."

Following the burger, I checked in with myself - do I want dessert? - and of course the answer was 'yes'. When is it ever no?

TG declined the dessert menu, stating: "I'll probably just eat some of yours." Yeah, right in your dreams.

After weighing up the options - these things can't be rushed, you know - I went for the lemon and blueberry posset with shortbread biscuits. The lighter on the tummy option - or so I thought...

Lemon and blueberry posset with shortbread biscuits

Um, there was quite a lot there. The posset was creamy and sweet and although it was lovely, it could have done with being a bit sharper with lemon as I found it a little on the sickly side. The blueberry compote on the top complemented the posset and the shortbread biscuits were nice and buttery. But I definitely think a smaller portion is the way to go in future. TG's prophecy ended up coming true as he smugly tucked into what was left with a 'I told you so' look in his eye.

If you are looking for somewhere in a semi-rural location with a beautiful beer garden and a great choice of tasty food, I recommend visiting the Crooked Billet on the next fine day you have available.

Visit their website.

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