Choosing a lunchtime venue for an outing with colleagues can be just as overwhelming as planning a big corporate party. To make it easier, here’s a round-up of our favourite eateries in the East Midlands for some festive feasting
Station Road, Draycott-in-the-clay, Ashbourne, Derbys, DE6 5GX
Owned by the Crooks family since 1984, The Boars Head Hotel is an historic building that was originally part of the Vernon Estate and is situated in eight and a half acres of beautiful Derbyshire countryside. The venue is a popular eatery with a warm and welcoming atmosphere – and a delicious lunch menu to boot. Carefully crafted by head chef Carl Lavery, dishes include pan-fried pheasant breasts with thyme mash; tender diced beef with ale, shallots and button mushrooms; and roast loin of cod with chive mash and minted-pea cream.
65-67 Derby Rd, Nottingham, NG1 5BA
This award-winning pub, which started its commercial life in 1866 as a brewery, re-opened as a restaurant in 2008 – and is a fantastic spot for a traditional Christmas lunch. The festive menu is hearty and includes dishes such as roast sirloin of British beef with Yorkshire pudding; duck breast with plum stuffing wrapped in smoked bacon; and wild mushroom and almond nut roast with red wine and shallot sauce.
Hotel LaTour, Albert Street, Birmingham, B5 5JE
Marco Pierre White’s first English Chophouse is a luxurious eatery located in Birmingham’s stylish Hotel La Tour. Specialising in high-quality meat cuts, the set Christmas lunch menu includes roast rump of lamb, which is mouth-watering. There is also a selection of delectable desserts to choose from including black cherry and sherry trifle, and Mr White’s rice pudding with Armagnac and prunes.
Royal Standard Place, Nottingham, NG1 6FS
Located in Nottingham’s Castle Quarter, the Round House is a restaurant and bar serving an eclectic variety of fresh, top-quality food. The delicious Christmas menu includes dishes such as rolled-belly pork with sage and cranberry stuffing, and cider sauce; and Italian fish stew with chilli, garlic and basil passata with focaccia. There is also an extensive wine list, with plenty of tipples available by the glass.
Main Street, Shawell, LE17 6AG
This traditional country pub was taken over in 2012 by chef Rory McClean and his partner, Samantha, and has since undergone an extensive refurbishment. The venue is contemporary but has retained its original character and charm – and has top-class food to match. The Christmas menu includes traditional roast turkey with all the trimmings; delicious glazed Onley Grounds Farm beef with butternut squash and spinach; and wild mushroom risotto with watercress and Parmesan.
8-10 Millstone Lane, Leicester, LE1 5JN • 13-17 Milton Street, Nottingham, NG1 3EN
This popular bistro is serving classic French dishes this Christmas. The menu features marinated medallions of pork with a honey-mustard glaze, Morteau sausage, caramelised apples and Dijon mustard beurre blanc; duck-leg confit with Provençal vegetables and red wine jus; and pan-fried fillet of sea bass with chive beurre blanc, mussels and creamed leeks. The restaurant is also giving a £20 voucher to the party organiser when they book for eight or more people.
20 Park Row, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG1 6GR
This delightful brasserie bar, in the heart of the cultural castle district, has a delicious festive lunch menu. Main courses include roast breast of turkey with clementine, tarragon and fig stuffing (with all the trimmings, of course); slow-roast belly of pork with sage mash and red wine gravy; and braised blade of beef with bubble and squeak, forestiere sauce and horseradish cream. Round things off with a delectable dessert such as passion-fruit meringue pie.
87 Main St, Woodborough, Nottingham, NG14 6EA
This cosy Tudor-style pub with its wood-burning stove and countryside setting is a fantastic spot for a Christmas outing away from the city. Run by husband-and-wife team, Craig and Gaynor Smith, the Four Bells Inn has excellent service and a hearty Christmas lunch menu. Dishes include goose, woodpigeon and partridge coarse-cut pâté with rhubarb and chutney toast; and scallop, mussel and clam stew with spring onions, new potatoes, and vodka and chive dumplings.