mill street pub & kitchen
Looking for good grub, a gorgeous rural town and a place to stay for you and your pup? This is the one!
We've all done it. Driven through a little rural town in the English countryside and said to your other half: "Oh I could definitely live here!" You start imagining what day-to-day life might be like: where you'd start your day, where you'd have lunch, where you'd take the dog for a walk... it's when you do this that you know the place is a goodun'.
That's Oakham for you. It's oh-so-charming, with its thatched roofed houses, many antique shops, those lovely house/interiors shops where you could just buy everything and yummy eateries (go for afternoon tea at Castle Cottage Cafe - so so cute!). And then you get to Mill Street Pub & Kitchen, and just want to move in.
It's one of those pubs where you'd just spend an entire Sunday chatting and laughing with your friends, and dog in tow. You might start with breakfast, then move onto a light lunch (the Mill Street Sharing Board is great!) and glass of wine, take the dog for a wee, and start on the beer, turning into dinner. Then when you've had enough, head up to one of the six rooms available for a good night's sleep.
Let's talk food first. We'll start backwards. Breakfast, which is included in the price of the room (staring at £90, based on two people sharing), was extraordinary good for a pub. This isn't just pub grub though, it's much more. I wanted the crunchy granola after eyeing it up, but decided on the Vegetarian Full Monty. The veggie sausages didn't disappoint, the eggs were perfect and even the baked beans tasted extra gorgeous. The other half had the Eggs Benedict which he loved too.
Dinner started with the sharing board (right) - the best carrot jam I've ever tasted - and then we both opted for the fish & chips which was exquisitely cooked. 'How do you get fish & chips wrong though?'... believe me, you do. This was crispy enough, fishy enough, and had mushy peas of dreams!
We finished with the lemon meringue cheesecake, which was springy, tart and creamy all at the same time, and also shared the chocolate 'Crunchie' mousse which left us 'mmmm-ing' with every mouthful. This is pub grub at its finest. If you live round here, GO just for the honey and sea salt nuts... if you don't, GO and eat and sleep!
Speaking of sleep... we had a great night's kip in room six. And so did Dhillon, who slept in his little bed at the side of ours all night (unusual for him!). All rooms are furnished and finished excellently. No fuss, no bells and whistles, but comfortable, neutral and with all the amenities you'd expect.
Our room was above the lovely private dining room which wasn't actually being used that night, and the music was on extra loud. We could hear it travelling up through the floor, but with one quick, courteous ask, it was turned down so we couldn't hear it.
Dhillon loved the faux fur rug, and made himself at home on it for a while. The bathroom was all white tiles and clean lines - exactly like most people's facilities at home. And that's exactly what I loved about the rooms - they felt like home from home, which is unusual to find at a hotel at the best of times, let alone a 'pub with rooms'.
For £130 for the night (that's for a Saturday night), including breakfast, you can't go wrong! You're also a stones throw away from Rutland Water - a huge drinking reservoir with amazing walks round it for the dog. Go and check it out!