When it comes to pub restaurants, some shout about their gastro food offerings, while others promote themselves as a friendly place to drink and have a snack, if you fancy one.
The Queen’s Arms, in Orlingbury, falls between these two categories. It initially comes across as the kind of cosy venue where customers would primarily pop in for a drink, perhaps after a walk in the nearby countryside. But it also has a good food service which goes beyond simple bar snacks.
I have to admit, The Queen’s Arms is my local and I regularly pop in for a meal when I can’t be bothered to cook (which is shockingly often). The food may not be posh, gastro-pub fare, but a lot of it is hearty, comfort food, which is well done.
This week I visited with my husband, Payat, and brother-in-law, Adam. Service at the pub is laid-back, but attentive. Customers are treated with attention and respect, but also in a relaxed way. I couldn’t see any menus on the tables when I went in, so I asked at the bar and we were quickly given three menus and our drinks orders were taken.
There are some smaller starters on offer, but we decided to choose one of the sharer platters, a dish of nachos with all the trimmings (£6.95). This was not the measly portion with tiny scoops of side dips which is sadly offered in so many restaurants. This was a huge plateful with melted cheese and large dollops of guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos and salsa. We were glad we had only ordered one between the three of us.
For the main course, Adam chose the traditionally English/Irish dish of liver, bacon and onions (6.95), I chose the lasagne (£7.95) and Payat opted for a burger topped with cheese and bacon, which came with salad, onion rings and chips (£8.95).
The helpings were huge and delicious. I enjoyed my slab of lasagne which was tasty and cheesy, not like the dried-up varieties common to some pubs. It came with crunchy garlic bread and salad and the whole combination was just what I needed, although I struggled to finish it due to the fact we had eaten such a huge starter.
Adam soon polished off his plate of liver and bacon, which came with peas and mash. He said the dish was well done and it was nice to see such an old-fashioned combination revived on a modern menu. Payat’s meaty burger also attracted a rave review.
After all of that food, we rather feebly looked at the pudding menu and decided that one pudding and three spoons was in order. We returned to the bar to order a warm slice of chocolate fudge cake with cream and swirls of chocolate sauce (£3.95). When the pudding arrived, it was so beautiful and chocolatey, our appetites suddenly revived and our main comment was... “we should have ordered three”. The dessert disappeared within seconds.
The Queen’s Arms offers traditional pub food, the menu is not exotic or trying to be anything it is not.
It is a lovely place to enjoy a meal.
VALUE: Very reasonable
FOOD: Good food, generous portions
SERVICE: Friendly and attentive
DISABLED ACCESS: No
PARKING: Large carpark
COST OF OUR MEAL
FINAL TOTAL: £41.80 (including drinks)
Anna’s star rating: 8/10
The Queen’s Arms
Isham Rd, Orlingbury, NN14 1JD