MEAL REVIEW: The Queen’s Head, Glanton

Lasagne at the Queen's Head, Glanton.
Lasagne at the Queen's Head, Glanton.
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Well, for me, this review has been a long time coming. I’ve been meaning to get down to my ‘local’ since I moved back into the area after finishing university.

The other thing I’d been meaning to do since I returned to Northumberland was get out of my student habit of eating calorific rubbish seven days a week. Up to this weekend, I’ve failed at both, but now, at least, I’ve managed to do the former.

Chicken, leek and bacon pie.

Chicken, leek and bacon pie.

As for the latter, I’ve ordered a book which looks at my relationship with food and how to eat healthily, but since it hasn’t arrived yet I thought I’d have my ‘last supper’ on Good Friday at the Queen’s Head in Glanton.

I took my friend who was returning home while her university was on break. She happened to grow up in the village and was returning after six years of being away from Glanton.

If I could remember anything of the place when I was younger, it was very much what I believe people would call ‘an old man’s pub’ and I never recall it doing food (although I could be wrong).

Assuming the pub hadn’t changed much at all, I was looking for a trip to my past.

Deep-fried Brie wedges.

Deep-fried Brie wedges.

Surprisingly, I discovered the pub had been given a lovely spring clean. It looked great and was suitably busy with lots of people in the bar area.

Luckily, we were moved away from the hustle and bustle to a quieter restaurant room out the back.

We were handed the menu and I saw a very varied pub-grub-style menu. Perfect, this was spot on and what I was hoping for. From fish and chips (£10.90) to steak and ale pie (£12.90), the mains were exactly what you would expect from this rural delight.

For starters we had some homemade pâté with bread (£4.90) and some deep-fried brie wedges (£4.90), which were both served with a side salad. These portions would have done us both if we were having a lunch.

Homemade pate

Homemade pate

You could tell the pâté was homemade and had a really authentic taste. As for the brie, it was stunning. The wedges were massive and actually made me want more food, which was just as well.

Once they were taken away we had ample time for the starters to settle and enjoy a good catch-up in the very peaceful surroundings. Out the window you could see the lovely view down to Whittingham. It somehow made me quite relaxed that I could see my house from there!

For the main event, I had my eyes set on the homemade lasagne (£10.90), while my friend went for the humongous chicken, leek and bacon pie (£12.90).

Now, I don’t know if the pictures give you a scale of how big the portions were, but both dishes were huge. So big, I actually didn’t eat anything until the next evening, I was that full!

Chocolate pudding

Chocolate pudding

My lasagne was well-layered and had the right mince-to-sauce balance, which is very hard to achieve. I think it’s fair to say I am a lasagne connoisseur so know when I’m getting the real deal, and this was certainly it.

Each were served with a double-helping of chips and salad on the side. The only thing missing from the lasagne was a nice slice of garlic bread, but of course that’s only my preference.

My friend told me that the pie was just as nice. She did say, though, that it wasn’t as structurally sound throughout as the lasagne and the puff pastry was slightly watery on the bottom.

Now, as is tradition with the Gazette’s Eating Out, it’s good to sample a starter, main and dessert, but here, since one main could probably feed a family for about a week, we could only manage to share one dessert.

When it comes to pudding I know what I always want, I love chocolate, it is my biggest downfall and anyone in the office would tell you that. I was actually quite sad when my parents said, ‘son, you’re far too old for Easter eggs’ this year and was given some scented candles instead. Although, to be fair, the candles smell quite nice.

But back to the point – for dessert we had a lovely locally-sourced chocolate pudding. It was served warm (my favourite) and with cream. It was utter heaven, I’m so glad I don’t actually start my diet until my book arrives because I don’t even want to know how many calories were in that.

The Queen's Head pub sign at Glanton.

The Queen's Head pub sign at Glanton.

All-in-all we had a lovely evening. It really set me off for a lovely Easter weekend. There was a great vibe and I do mean it when I say this is exactly the type of pub we should support. At the moment, the pub is serving food on Friday and Saturday, 6-9pm then Sunday 12-3pm. I would love to see it open every night over the summer.

TRADITIONAL FOOD AND BIG PORTIONS

The Queen’s Head in Glanton recently took new ownership with chef Sally Black in the kitchen.

Sally’s portions are well worth the money and will not leaving you asking for more – unless it’s on another day! It is the perfect pit-stop for the hiker passing through the village, but at present only serves food Friday and Saturday 6pm to 9pm and Sunday noon to 3pm.

I do hope that they serve all week with the summer fast approaching as I know I’ll be going back to try the full range of the menu.

SELECTION FROM THE MENU

Starters

Homemade soup of the day......£4.50

Crayfish salad......£4.90

Garlic mushrooms......£4.90

Homemade pâté of the day......£4.90

Mains

Deep-fried haddock......£10.90

Pan-fried chicken breast......£12.90

10oz ribeye steak......£18.50

Homemade burger......£10.90

Gammon steak......£10.90

Mushroom stroganoff......£8.90

Bar snacks

Cheesy chips......£3.20

Scampi bites......£4.20

Potato skins......£3.20

Desserts

Homemade cheesecake......£4.50

Doddington ice-cream......£3.90

Chocolate pudding......£4.90

Spotted dick......£4.90

STAR RATING (OUT OF 10)

Quality of food.....8

Choice......7

Vegetarian choice......4

Value for money......10

Atmosphere......9

Use of local food......6

Service......8

Access for disabled......6

Toilet for disabled......N/A

Overall rating......9

Verdict: Hearty helpings in a very traditional pub which the community should be supporting.

Contact: Lisa Chisholm 01665 578324