|Top grub: The Carpenters Arms in Fiskerton was named Best Pub Food Restaurant in the 2010/11 Lincolnshire Life Taste of Excellence Cuisine Awards|
|The first thing that struck me as I walked through the door at the Carpenters Arms was the friendly atmosphere in the cosy bar.
As I visited just before Christmas there was a definite festive feel and the traditional interior was well decorated with lots of tinsel, wreaths and twinkling lights.
We were booked in for the second sitting on a Sunday lunchtime but had arrived slightly early so ordered a drink and sat in the bar area.
A group of locals were having a laugh together and with the bar staff and it was clear the pub is very much a hub of village life.
We were soon ushered through to the packed restaurant and seated next to some regular patrons who told us that Friday and Saturday evenings were even busier than this particular Sunday.
Despite the staff having a couple of large groups to cater for, and every table being full, they were extremely attentive and didn’t keep us waiting â€“ either to order or for our meal.
The menu was fairly simple with standard pub grub fare on offer.
I opted for a traditional prawn cocktail which came with a nice, buttered chunky piece of bread and salad garnish.
The presentation wasn’t exactly fine dining but at the reasonable price of £3.95 who cares as long as it tasted good? And it did.
I would have preferred a bit more sauce to mop up with the bread but there was an ample pile of prawns to wade through.
My companion had the fresh crab pate which was served with crusty bread. And there was a nice supply of it too!
It was a tasty starter but I’m not 100 per cent sure whether it was homemade or not.
We were left to have a nice break between the starter and the main in which to enjoy the festive atmosphere.
I was hungry by the time my main of roast leg of English lamb arrived.
There were three big slices of tender meat on the steaming plate, accompanied by mashed and roasted potatoes and seven different types of vegetable all covered in gravy.
This was especially good to see as I often think restaurants skimp on a varied selection of vegetables these days.
And the staff were more than happy to bring extra gravy (which I always like to have in plentiful supply) â€“ with a different one provided for the various meats on offer.
My companion went for the traditional roast topside of beef with homemade Yorkshire pudding.
Again a good amount of meat accompanied by the wide variety of potatoes and vegetables.
The Yorkshire pudding was wonderfully soft and tasty.
I always think Yorkshires should be offered with any meat you may choose with a Sunday dinner, not just the beef, as it is one of my favourite parts.
It was good, wholesome food served with no pretence. The hearty meals could speak for themselves.
Although we both felt extremely full after the healthy portions dished out for the first two courses, on seeing the dessert menu we couldn’t resist.
Choosing from about a dozen different puddings ranging from raspberry roulade and trifle to cheese and biscuits, I eventually went for the warm chocolate fudge cake and cream while my dining partner decided on the sticky toffee pudding and custard.
They were, once again, good sized portions and the traditional puddings were a nice touch to the homely style of food served at the Carpenters Arms.
It was easy to see why the pub picked up the Best Pub Food Restaurant prize in the 2010-11 Lincolnshire Life Taste Of Excellence Cuisine Awards after being nominated by customers.
They have got exactly the right ingredients for a thriving, food-orientated local pub.
THE DAMAGE: Our bill: Fresh crab pate served with crust bread £3.95; Prawn cocktail with wholemeal bread
£3.95; Roast topside of beef and homemade Yorkshire pudding £8.95; Roast leg of English lamb £8.95; warm chocolate fudge cake with cream £3.95; sticky toffee pudding with custard £3.95; pint of Fireside ale £2.95; orange Britvic 55
TOTAL: Total: £38.83.
FINAL VERDICT: If you want somewhere thats cosy, welcoming and serves excellent traditional pub grub this is the place for you.