The Rutland and Derby

February 10, 2011

Had an interesting morning recently talking to Sam Hagger, the publican who has taken over Leicester’s Rutland and Derby pub on Millstone Lane and turned it back into a more mainstream pub but also added a deli. 

Where once were low sofas is now a cabinet full of fancy cheese, glistening olives and a range of antipasti and charcuterie. It’s an interesting move based on Hagger’s own interest in food and his observation of the local clientele.  He first discovered the venue while his other pub, the Forge in Glenfield was being done up. When it became available he had thought about opening a restaurant but decided it was too close to Stephen Fitzpatrick’s Boot Room and Bistrot Pierre. But seeing the brass plaque offices surrounding him in the Catherdral Quarter  (is it called that? It is now)  he felt those professional types would jump at the chance of  a cheeky piece of  gorgonzola or 36-month aged  parmesan for lunch or with an after work pint.  

Sam Hagger - "I can tell you a story about every cheese here"

Most of what’s on offer comes through  a specialist supplier who seems to have good links with the Slow Food network of  suppliers in Italy and Sam takes pleasure in sharing tales about artisan makers who bury their cheeses in caves and all that. 

Food at the deli – and there is some really interesting stuff there you would struggle to find elsewhere locally – can be bought to take away, but also forms the main eat-in offer of classy deli sandwiches and deli boards.  The Rutland Board, for example, offers semi-roasted Puglian tomatoes, Nocellara del Belice olives, black olive tapenade, char-grilled artichoke hearts, prosciutto, aged Parmagiano Reggiano and oregano crackers.  You can get a local pork pie or samosa too, and Sam promises that as they settle in  they will source more and more local produce:  “For us it’s an evolution – a voyage of discovery”. If you are a local producer with the right credentials, maybe you should get in touch. 

The drinks menu has been pared down from the extravagance of the ancien regime, but still includes some premium lagers, three beers from partners Everards and other ales including Old Hooky and Adnam’s Broadside.  There’s a rather handsome whisky cabinet too. The space is still pretty much the same but the feel is rather more homely (see below) and Sam has both kept and extended the pub’s pleasant  outdoor space, adding an astroturfed roof garden that should be blissful on a hot summer’s evening should we get one.   All in all, definitely worth a visit. Watch out for the full story, and rather better pictures in next month’s Great Food Leicestershire and Rutland

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2 Responses to “The Rutland and Derby”

  1. Jessica said

    We saw the sandwich board advertising the deli a couple of weeks ago and popped in to investigate. Finally- a place to buy taleggio! I’ve been searching Leicester for it! We also got some very nice cheese biscuits/crackers and some fig cheese. It’s quite pricey, but then these things always are, and it’s nice to have an occasional treat 🙂

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  2. […] for a while, there’s the market and a couple of Polish enterprises and the revamped Rutland and Derby is an innovative response, but mostly delis survive out in the suburbs and in farmshops. So […]

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