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The Railway, Lowdham

The Railway (formerly the Railway Inn) has had some serious money thrown at it and it shows.  A once tired local pub is now a really rather cool, contemporary pub/restaurant with some great nods in the decor to its railway heritage, a wood burning stove and an open pass to the kitchen as well as some brilliant space outside, including a raised deck. And, it feels great when you walk in.

On my continued quest for a decent pub Sunday lunch it seemed worth a punt. I know I get a bit tiresome on the old Sunday Lunch theme, but as I hadn’t eat a Sunday roast in a pub for about 20 years as they had become so bloody awful and my own were so much better, I am now on something of a mission, and I always have the beef – even if the non-traditional Sunday menu looks more inviting, because beef is the hardest to cook well and keep and because its a fairer comparison (I know there is no real science here, but you get my drift).

So, The Railway. The menu looked promising with nibbles, starters, mains, roasts and desserts and some really imaginative combinations, so I ordered the beef with something of a skip in my step.

We started with the hot Arancini of Cod and Spring Onion, Sriracha Chilli Mayonnaise and Dressed Watercress and it was fantastic. I really need to try and make these. I could have eaten them by the bucket, I actually fought over the last with the FWD. Unseemly, I know.

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The FWH went with the Ham Hock Terrine, Pineapple and Chilli Relish, Potato and Balsamic Crisps with a Watercress Salad. This was really delicious, the terrine actually had some serious flavour, well spiced and herby, so many are insipid.

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For mains, we had the Pan Fried Sea Bream with Jersey Royals, Baked Fennel, Citrus Fruits and local asparagus and the Cropwell Bishop Stilton Baked Red Onion with Sweet Potato, Roast Root Vegetables and Garlic Pesto. The FWM was a bit picky about her charred fennel overwhelming her fish, but the FWH, who had the same, completely disagreed. So there you go, you either like a charred fennel or you don’t, I guess.

and I had the beef, natch.

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No, as you know, I am proper fussy about my roasts, so there was nothing at all wrong with this really ( I asked for the gravy on the side, I just do that now, as I like to be in control of where my gravy goes). The Yorkshire was lovely and the beef, which is the hardest bit to get right really, was nicely pink and very tender. For once a battle with the knife and fork to secure a mouthful was unnecessary, so this is all good. My potatoes were a little bit on the just warm side, but crispy enough. The veg was…………..ok.

I don’t understand why so little effort is afforded veg so often. It was fine, but not seasoned or buttered or with cheese (the cauliflower) or anything, it was just veg, however I am at least grateful it didn’t come in one of those annoying side dishes that almost always get sent back untouched.

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There wasn’t much space for pudding but the FWH can never resist a Sticky Toffee Pudding, (this one served with Muscavado Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream). He mumbled something about custard, but he always does, so was ignored. This STP was possibly the best I’ve ever eaten. It was light, sweet, sticky, caramely and all round unctuous… and huge.

The Railway is actually really rather nice, all the food was very good if not excellent (unseasoned veg aside) and fairly priced. The service was good (it was very busy) and the hosts visible and friendly. They also had some really cool glassware. Definitely worth a punt, or two.

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