Dine out: The Grapes, Wrea Green

The Grapes in Wrea Green
The Grapes in Wrea Green
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Having built up our appetites playing tennis, we were both hungry when we arrived at The Grapes for a late Sunday lunch.

We had not been able to make a reservation, but thankfully guessed correctly we would be ok to get a table between the lunch-time rush and tea-time.

Roast dinner

Roast dinner

We chose to dine in the restaurant, although customers have the option of eating in the pub too.

Our drinks were served as we perused the menu, with the waiter impressing us with his knowledge on the alcohol volumes of the various lagers on offer.

It is important in this health conscious age to consider the strength of your choice of beverage, just as many like to count their calories.

On a summer's day, with cricket in full force on the green, it is hard to find a more perfect village than Wrea Green and indeed over the years it has won plaudits for its pristine appearance.

Scotch egg starter

Scotch egg starter

With autumn closing in, there was no leather upon willow but escaping just a few miles to this rural idyll was a pleasant way to fill an afternoon.

My husband Clive opted for the pea and spinach soup from the starter's list, while I decided to try cumberland sausage Scotch egg served with mustard mayonnaise from the specials board.

Both were full of flavour and helped get our immediate hunger pangs under control after being brought swiftly to the table.

The Grapes is part of the Chef and Brewer chain and its menu offers many of the classic pub favourites such as cod and chips, hunter's chicken and luxury lasagne.

Chocolate fudge cake

Chocolate fudge cake

There are also meat-free dishes on the menu including what may seem the impossible - vegetarian fish and chips.

A closer look shows this is hand battered lemon and coriander halloumi with garden or mushy peas and tartar sauce.

And for diners who have even more restrictive diets because they are vegan, there is a choice for them too.

The ultimate vegan burger is meat free and comes accompanied by fried onions, a melting vegan slice and shredded iceberg lettuce.

But we both opted for roast dinners - with Clive choosing beef with vegetables and minted potatoes, and myself opting for pork with vegetables and roast potatoes.

Each also came with a large portion of Yorkshire pudding and gravy.

There was plenty of meat, and my pork was accompanied with a tasty piece of traditional crackling.

The vegetables were cooked just right, the roast potatoes were crispy but the minted potatoes were a touch chewy for our taste.

Those with even bigger appetites can also order side dishes, but there was certainly enough on our plates not to need anything more.

Despite the satisfying portions, after a small rest to aid our digestion, we treated ourselves to dessert.

It was tricky to choose, with fruit crumbles and millionaires cheesecake catching my eye.

But in the end it had to be the hot chocolate fudge cake served with cream and this proved to be spot on.

Clive went for jam roly poly pudding from the specials, but it was a bit heavy on the stomach in all honesty.

Service throughout our meal was friendly and helpful.

After settling our bill, we retired to the bar area to finish our drinks and enjoy the view over the green towards the famous village pond.

Thank goodness duck had not been on the menu!

Our total bill, including drinks, came to £48.24.