Last week I was invited for a meal out to review Cookhouse and Pub Ripley on Nottingham Road. We had a table for four for myself, Stuart and our friends Paul and Julie. It was a really cold and snowy day that we went and it was a bit of a drive at about 20 minutes away so when we arrived I was hoping the food would be good as I was hungry by then and freezing cold!
We arrived to be shown to our table which was near one of the many fires around the restaurant. The restaurant was very busy as it was a Friday evening. We arrived at around 7.15pm, but the staff were all very helpful and no-one seemed rushed or stressed. Our waiter, I think his name was Brad, was friendly and explained that it is full table service so we didn’t need to get up at all which was lovely.
There were plenty of menus on the table which were clean and easy to understand. The choice was good and, as a vegetarian, I was pleasantly surprised with the choices I had available. As a group we chose prawn cocktails and cheesy garlic flatbreads as starters. The Cheesy garlic flatbread was actually under the side order section but it was easily arranged to have this as a starter. As main courses I chose a tart from the specials which I thought I would remember the name of but didn’t. It was, I think, mushroom, spinach and truffle tart or something similar. I swapped the accompaniments on my meal easily and had vegetables instead of salad. Others had a mixed grill with a sirloin upgrade, a rump steak, and a C&P ultimate burger. If you fancy a look at the menu it can be found here. They also do a Sunday carvery on a Sunday.
The choice of drinks was really good and our drinks were brought to the table and replenished when needed. The soft drinks are refillable, however, unlike some places, the refills are still brought to the table, rather than you having to get up and do it yourself, which was nice. We had a bottle of wine which was served cold and iced well. Whilst I didn’t need to go up to the bar area, I popped over to have a peek and it was all clean and tidy with friendly approachable staff.
The Quality of the Food
The meals all arrived together and the gravy was quickly checked when I asked if it was vegetarian. The steaks were both cooked exactly as requested and were good quality with only a small amount of gristle. We were all thoroughly impressed with our meals and would definitely eat there again.
We were spoilt for choice with the desserts and all loved them. I had a Salted Caramel, Brownie and Popcorn Sundae and it was blooming lovely! Two of the others had the same and the remaining person had Strawberry frozen yoghurt and enjoyed that too.
Despite being very busy when we arrived for our meal out it wasn’t too noisy at our table and there was a great relaxing atmosphere. Everyone in the restaurant appeared to be enjoying their visits and there was a real mixture of people there from young toddlers to elderly couples. I didn’t see anyone having any complaints and everyone received the same great service.
The Toilets and Car Park
The toilets were easy to find in the restaurant and they were clean and well-stocked. I went to the ladies but neither of the men went to the Gentleman’s toilets so I can’t comment on those. The car park is shared with a Premier Inn but despite being a Friday evening and busy, there was plenty of space. The entrance to the restaurant was clean and despite being icy elsewhere it was well cleared.
We all enjoyed our meal out and would definitely go back again in the future. It was a lovely evening with great service and great food. Definitely worth a visit if you are local or in the area. There are other Cookhouse and Pub restaurants in the country.
We received our food and drinks free of charge as a VIP press visit however all the views above are my own and those of the people I dined with.
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