On our latest Evening Telegraph night out – this one an early Christmas celebration – we decided to start the festivities with a bite to eat.
So we decided to have dinner at our usual Kettering meeting place, the Earl of Dalkeith.
When we arrived, at about 6.30pm on a Saturday night, we had no trouble finding seats, despite there being a group of seven of us with more yet to arrive.
The pub is a Wetherspoons and the menu offers the usual choice of pub grub which you’d expect, all at particularly reasonable prices.
There was a range of burgers and steaks on offer, as well as main courses like chicken tikka masala and fish and chips, and barely any of the dishes topped the £10 mark, making it the ideal start for a night out.
I chose a chilli con carne and rice (£4.69) and Steph opted for a chicken burger (£5.10) which came with a choice of complimentary drinks, from which she picked a 175ml glass of wine.
David chose a roast beef dinner (£5.10) and Jamie went for the beef gourmet burger (£6.59), another option which included a free drink, and he chose a pint.
Gemma ordered a lasagne al forno (£4.40), Phil picked a chicken gourmet burger with a complimentary pint of Carlsberg (£6.59) and Ian had a Beef and Abbot ale pie (£7.10).
We were quite impressed that we’d managed to order dinner for seven, not to mention a few free drinks, for a total of £39.
The food arrived quite quickly, but we were a bit disappointed that there were a few mistakes we had to get corrected.
I was served the five bean chilli instead of the meat dish I had ordered and Phil was served a beef burger when he had asked for chicken.
Our receipts were checked and our dishes were taken away and changed without too much of a wait.
I enjoyed my dinner, which came with rice and tortilla chips. The chilli was tasty, the yellow rice was cooked just right and the portion was a decent size – I couldn’t fault it, particularly as it cost less than a fiver.
Gemma was a bit disappointed with her lasagne – the dish was a good size but when she tucked into it, it was a bit lukewarm.
David’s roast dinner was made up of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, brussels, carrots and roast potatoes with gravy – more of a Sunday feast than on a Saturday night, but it looked nice.
He said the beef was a little dry and the roasties tasted deep fried rather than roasted, but the dish was fantastic value and he would pick the meal again.
Ian’s pie was served with mashed potato, vegetables and gravy and looked like an impressive dish – he seemed pretty happy with it – while Jamie and Phil seemed to enjoy their burgers.
Steph’s chicken burger also seemed to hit the spot and the free drink was a welcome addition.
Everyone seemed quite happy with their meals and very pleased with the price tag.
I’ve eaten out in the Earl a number of times over the years and the food has always fit the bill, though on previous visits I’ve encountered fewer problems with the wrong dishes being served. I hope that’s just a blip on what was a busy night, as I’d definitely recommend the Earl as a good place to enjoy a good value for money dinner.
By Bernie Goodjohn
The Earl of Dalkeith Dalkeith Place
Kettering, NN16 0BS