Sven at The Star

September 23, 2011

Earlier this  year I asked readers to keep their eyes open and file reports of spottings of Sven around the restaurants of Leicestrshire. You all let me down badly on that one but we’ll let that pass. I found myself tonight out at the newly-refurbished Star Inn at Thrussington (about 7 miles up the A46 from Leicester).  Pictured below with his wingman Alan Birchenall, Svennis was doing an admirable job for the opening party which doubled as a fundraiser for LCFC’s chosen charity.

He was endlessly charming and helpful amid the crush of people wanting their photo taken and neatly sidestepped mischeivous questions about who he wanted to win Strictly – I hope they made piles of cash.

The pub looks very nice – done out in a stylishly understated way by the owner Nigel Richardson who recently did the fit out of Jason Atherton’s Mayfair venue the Pollen Street Social (Atherton was due to attend until a last minute chef crisis intervened). The food looks worth a try too –  upmarket pub stuff such as steaks, rump of lamb, and slow roasted belly of pork and there’s also dishes such as roasted figs, parma ham and dolcelatte that suggest a touch of subtlety from chef Adam Barnacle.  It’s clearly hoping to rival local venues such as the Golden Fleece in South Croxton and the Bull’s Head in Woodhouse Eaves. If you get to eat there soon – do let us know your thoughts.


The Golden Fleece

February 7, 2010

I still remember being actively shocked the first time I found the Golden Fleece. South Croxton is one of the villages that may only be five minutes north of the city boundaries at Scraptoft but just seems remote and out of the way.  You rock up to its pub and expect chintz, hunting prints and a cosy fireplace.  What you find is metropolitan chic – the lowest,widest sofas I’ve ever sat on, blonde wood, white walls, a huge open dining room and a menu that goes well beyond country pub grub.

Golden Fleece

Last week I took advantage of a slack Friday to call in for lunch. A starter of home cured gravadlax was very good indeed. Good, thick slices of salmon copiously trimmed with  dill, a dollop of creme fraiche and a really good, sympathetically dressed salad. Particular praise for the judicious use of rocket – this is so often over-used but here it just gave peppery background notes. Main course was a generous amount of pork fillet with a similarly well-judged green peppercorn sauce – lying pretty much equidistant  between gently warming and really quite pokey. Good mash, crisp greens and caramelised carrots completed the dish. At £10.95 for two courses this is very acceptable value.

 Service is superior and the brisk lunchtime trade suggests that the place is very well established in what is a quite competitive market.  The set lunch menu is also available early doors until 7pm ( and Monday night features pizza and pasta for a fiver),  but if you’re looking to splash out a bit you’ll find an a la carte  including starters such as pigeon breast, mushroom duxelle and puff pastry at £5.95 and mains including pan-fried hake with king prawn and mussels, sauted potatoes and spinach and parsley puree at £14.95.

It may not be up there with the likes of the  Olive Branch but The Golden Fleece definitely earns a place on your list for impressing a date,  a birthday celebration, business lunch or just a midweek treat.

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