Award-winning village pub is a culinary treat

The Wheel Inn at Branston.
The Wheel Inn at Branston.

THE Wheel Inn is at the heart of the wonderful and visually striking village of Branston in Leicestershire.

The pub has won multiple awards, most recently the Leicestershire Pub of the Year for 2012 and the Journal’s Great Food Award. So far more educated palettes than mine have deemed the pub and the food a resounding success.

The pub itself is beautiful outside with a traditional, cosy feel inside.

Looking at the menu, all written on a large blackboard hanging on the wall, my first thought was that the prices were on the high side.

Mrs Graham, as she is prone to do, ordered the most expensive item on the menu - the well-aged rib-eye steak and chips at £19.50, while I opted for the braised lamb with green beans, bread and wine at £16.50.

I overheard that we had managed to pick the chef’s day off for our trip to The Wheel Inn, which was unfortunate.

I was a little surprised when the lamb arrived in a bowl but it made perfect sense given the red wine sauce and mountains of green beans and croutons it was sitting on.

The lamb itself was delicious - the best I’ve ever had.

However, I would say that the red wine sauce was incredibly, almost overpoweringly sweet.

The wife thoroughly enjoyed her steak which was large, juicy and tasty and came with perfectly cooked chips.

Moving on to the desserts, I opted for the rhubarb bakewell tart while Mrs Graham went for chocolate sponge and ice cream.

The rhubarb bakewell tart was very nice - rhubarb is a particular favourite of mine.

The wife was very impressed with her chocolate sponge, with melted, dark chocolate inside while I gobbled up the milky ice cream.

All in all it was a very fine dining experience.

I would say that if the prices were a shade lower - the total cost of our two meals and two desserts was £47 before drinks - and if we hadn’t turned up on the chef’s day off, then I would be giving this the full five stars.

HHHH