Yearly Archives - 2017

The Bridge Inn Sandycroft

The Bridge Inn Sandycroft Food Review

The Bridge Inn

This month took us to the bridge inn Sandycroft which  re opened at Easter and is under new management. The new manager David has a wealth of experience in the catering and hospitality industry having served his time in the Chester Grovenor Hotel he has since held management positions at the Goshawk,the Nags Head Mickle Traford ,The Milstone Penyfordd and the Oak Taporley amongst others.

The Bridge In is an inviting looking pub from the outside and after having a face lift since re opening its very contemporary on the inside too and has been refurbished to a high standard.  The bar area had a warm inviting atmosphere and it’s the kind of pub you could not only come for a meal but make a night of it and enjoy the great selection of draught beers and lagers or a wine in the huge enclosed beer garden were they have a children’s play area and even have an area at the rear with Chickens they are rearing.

We were shown to our table and asked what drinks we would like whilst we perused the menu. We were spoilt for choice as the Starters all sounded delicious but swiftly decided on Chicken wings for Reg and BBQ ribs for me. The starters were brought out quickly and looked delicious they were both presented on butcher blocks, the chicken wings were served in a tin pot with a side of sour cream. The wings were in a peri peri sauce which had a kick to them but were tasty at the same time, the sour cream worked well to cool them down a tad. The ribs were amazing they literally fell of the bone and the sauce was to die for the idea of having a toasted ciabatta accompanying them to dip in the sauce was a great addition as the sauce was absolutely  too good to waste!

The service was impeccable and even though they were pretty busy the food was brought out swiftly and all piping hot. For the main meal Reg chose the home made Steak burger and I had the 10oz rump steak. The homemade steak burger was ginormous and so succulent it was topped with tomatoes and melted cheese and sandwiched in a brioche bun it came with a pan of proper homemade chunky chips which were absolutely amazing.

The 10oz rump steak likewise did not disappoint, it was tasty and cooked perfectly again this was presented with a pan of chips, a fried tomato and mushrooms and as requested a jug of peppercorn sauce which was the creamiest peppercorn sauce I have

ever tasted  and was yummy  to dip the chunky chips in. Our main and starter were really enjoyable and although we were bursting we could not resist trying a dessert especially when I noticed the cheeseboard on the menu.

Reg opted for New York cheesecake and me the cheeseboard , the cheesecake was a generous slab of tangy, creamy filling on a thick biscuit base it was drizzled with chocolate sauce and was delicious. The cheese board did not disappoint the huge platter was filled with a variety of cheeses including creamy Brie, crumbly Cheshire ,Mature Cheddar and Stilton it was a good balance of different cheeses it was also served  with an assortment of crackers butter a pot of  Ploughman’s pickle ,  grapes, apples and capers.

The three courses were all delicious  we  could not fault anything this together with the impeccable service ,lovely relaxed surroundings and atmosphere makes the Bridge Inn a perfect place to eat and drink definitely a 5 stars from Inside Flintshire magazine

The Bill

BBQ Ribs – £5.25

Hot Chicken Wings -£4.50

Home made steak burger -£9.50

10oz Rump Steak -£12.95

New York Cheescake – £4.50

Cheeseboard – £5.25

Fox & Grapes Hawarden

Fox & Grapes Hawarden

This month took us to The Fox and Grapes in the picturesque village of Hawarden.  The fox and Grapes is the oldest pub in the village dating back 400 years and it has retained bags of charm and rustic character. It has a  beer garden to the back which is perfect for alfresco dining or just sampling the impressively stocked bar ,which includes  a huge range of kegs  ,international beers and ciders. They have been awarded ‘Cask Marque’ accreditation for their hand pull draught ales. Also they have teamed up with Jeremy Platt the well known wine sommelier from Ffarm Vintners of Llandudno, to bring a brand-new selection of different wines from around the world.

As the beer garden was bursting with people enjoying evening drinks we agreed we would sit inside, we were pleased when shown to our table that it was just as charming on the interior. It has recently undergone a refurbishment and has a modern yet rustic feel with beams, oak floor and wall panelling mixed with modern checked fabrics, stainless steel lanterns and brown leather sofas.

We were equally impressed with the menu and I could have easily tried everything on there but settled for Goat’s cheese & sundried tomato Bon Bon’s with homemade chilli jam & mixed leaf salad. In anticipation of our starters to arrive we noticed how relaxed the atmosphere is which is unusual as many restaurants you feel rushed to finish for the next diner.

Reg had decided on homemade livers parfait which he quickly decided was the best he ever tasted made even better with plentiful ciabatta crostinnis to dunk in the pate and homemade tomato chutney.

The Bonbons were also divine they were presented immaculately with side salad and swirls of chilli jam. The creamy taste of the goat’s cheese married well with tangy sun dried tomatoes and I was not disappointed with my choice.   Wednesday night is steak night so of course Reg had to take up the offer of an 8oz Rib eye steak and a glass of wine for £14.95 it would be rude not to! The steak was char grilled to perfection and was accompanied with chunky hand cut chips, mushrooms, tomatoes and watercress.

I had opted for something lighter and chosen the Pan fried fillet of hake this had a sesame seed & chilli crumb, and was served with a warm vegetable and crispy noodle salad with a soya, chilli & ginger dressing. The hake was delicious it was light and delicate and the vegetables and dressing paired with it perfectly.

The desserts all sounded delightful but Reg plumped for Banoffee cheesecake with toffee sauce & vanilla ice cream and I chose my favourite Homemade summer berry pavlova with mounds of berry fruits, homemade meringue and heaps of clotted cream, we were both extremely quiet when eating our desserts which I think speaks volume and as they say “the proof is in the pudding”.

The Fox and grapes prides itself on excellent food quality by sourcing locally wherever possible their suppliers include Noel Baker family butchers of Chester for their meats ,M&J Seafood’s for fresh fish and Oliver Kay for fruit and vegetables. They also strive to create the perfect dining experience which they certainly achieve. Well done to the Fox and Grapes for a first class meal!

The Bill 

Goat’s cheese & sundried tomato Bon Bon’s       £5.45

Homemade chicken liver parfait                            £5.45

Pan fried fillet of hake                                            £13.95

8oz Rib eye steak 21 Day Matured                      £14.95

(Steak night including a drink)

Banoffee cheesecake                                             £5.75      

Homemade summer berry pavlova                        £5.75

Restaurant review by inside Flintshire magazine

The Crown Hotel Llandegla

The Crown Hotel Llandegla

Restaurant review by inside Flintshire magazine

We called in the Crown Hotel on the way back from a weekend away in Aberystwyth. It was a red hot Sunday afternoon so we were keen to find somewhere where we could enjoy a Sunday roast in the sunshine so a beer garden was a must!

We came across the crown which is a 400 year old traditional Welsh country inn it is situated at the traffic lights on the A529 Wrexham/Ruthin and the A5105 Chester/Corwen close to

Llandegla. The Crown hotel is a gateway to the magnificent Clwyd valley and its spectacular countryside.

The pub is steeped in history it was one of 16 inns at Llandegla which once catered for the drovers who stopped the night here while driving livestock from Wales to England. Droving had died out by about 1870, replaced by railways. Now only two of the old inns are still in use as pubs, and this is one of them. The pub certainly has the wow factor with low wood beams to the traditional stone walls but with the quirky touches the current owners have made it feels like an enchanted garden with the abundance of twinkling fairy lights and candles on the tables it really is a beautiful pub not at all what we expected from the outside.

We were immediately made to feel like family friends and

assured that dogs were more than welcome which was nice. We asked to be seated in the beer garden as it was such a beautiful day and we were shown to a courtyard at the rear which was an absolute sun trap.

Our waitress soon returned with menus and refreshments for our dog, they brought out ice cold water and a bowl of dog biscuits much to her satisfaction.

We were pleased to see that the Sunday lunch menu with not

just traditional roast dinners but also favourites like fish and chips, Cajun chicken and Curry and rice  and at £13.95 for three courses it was good value.

We both decided on Tempura Prawns for our starters these came presented on a bed of crisp salad with a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce the prawns were coated in a delicious crispy Tempura batter. The dish was light, fresh and simple but delicious.

For our main course we both decided on a traditional Sunday lunch Reg opted for Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding and I decided on Roast Lamb and Yorkshire pudding. Both of the lunches looked amazing when they arrived they were presented really well  the first thing we noticed was  the huge homemade Yorkshire puddings, mounds of creamy mash ,crispy roast potatoes and  chunky cut meat, no wafer thin pre cut catering meat in sight! They then topped it off by bringing out a platter of perfectly cooked fresh vegetables with the addition of the most tasty sauted red cabbage I had ever tasted and delicious creamy cauliflower cheese which was smothered in a rich tasty wholegrain mustard cheese sauce. We were really impressed with everything we had tasted the quality of the ingredients and the expertise of the chef had made a first class Sunday lunch, it was an added bonus that the service was excellent and the chef actually took the time to come outside and ask us if we had enjoyed our meals.

Unfortunately I think the heat and the portion size got the better of us, we couldn’t manage a dessert, although we both agreed it gives us a reason to go back and sit inside amongst the twinkling fairy lights and enjoy more wonderful home cooked food in a real gem of a country pub.



We decided to visit Quay fine dining this month we had always been a little dubious with it being situated on the Deeside Shopping centre, a few doors from Morrison’s but in fact this was an advantage as you can’t purchase alcohol so popping into Morrison’s for a nice bottle of wine at a fraction of the cost you would pay in restaurant was a great start, also with high street restaurants you usually have issues with parking but not this one there was an abundance of spaces.

I am sure most people that have passed have had a sneaky peek inside, when entering it doesn’t disappoint its extremely decadent, the tables are laid impeccably from the sparkling cutlery and wine glasses to the crisp white napkins. The décor is opulent and rich with walnut and gold furniture,plum sumptuous chairs and décor and beautiful sparkling chandeliers . I was hoping the food was going to live up to the luxury backdrop.

We opted for the Set meal which was priced at £16.95 per person this included appetiser of poppadum’s and chutneys, a choice of starters, a choice of mains including a few Special dishes , a side to accompany your curry and Ice cream for dessert.

The service was excellent and the waiter let us slightly alter the children’s meal to suit our son. The Children’s meal was reasonably priced at £4.95 which for Chicken Tikka and chips is good value. The poppadum’s and pickle tray was served immediately after

ordering and included a hot chilli dip, mango chutney ,raita and mixed onion which left us eagerly awaiting our starters. The starters were served promptly and were presented superbly. We had all picked kebabs, a Chicken Tikka, a Seekh Kebab and last but definitely not least a Lamb Kebab .All the kebabs were presented well with a generous side salad and the most delicious fried onions over the kebabs, after tasting them all the Lamb kebab was by far the best, the Lamb was extra tender with the most gorgeous seasoning smothering it, I was so glad I had chosen lamb for my main meal.

For the Main meals we had chosen a Chicken Korma with fries, Lamb Jalfrezi with pilau rice and Lamb madras with Naan bread. The mains arrived in quirky serving dishes and were generous portions , so far so good, our daughter had chicken korma, which was wonderfully creamy with the exact right contrast between sweet and nutty ,the chicken was also tasty and of good quality, no complaints there! Reg and I had chosen to share the Lamb Jalfrezi and Lamb Madras, I knew I would not be disappointed as I love my curry hot , the deep colour and fresh chillis on view filled me with hope and I certainly was not let down, both curries were flavoursome and hot obviously the Madras was spicier but both were really tasty and again the lamb melted in your mouth ,all the accompaniments were cooked to perfection too so big thumbs up so far.

After being served with a hot lemon cloth each we were served Dessert which was mixed ice cream, chocolate sauce and wafers the perfect choice to cool us down after such a lovely authentic spicy meal, we all agreed we will definitely be returning soon as the whole experience was a culinary delight, five stars to Quay Fine Dining!

Restaurant review by Inside Flintshire Magazine

The Millstone Pen-Y-Ffordd

This month took us to The Millstone in Penyffordd it’s a modern pub which has been refurbished to a high standard it looks appealing from the imposing red brick outset right to the interior which has a contemporary modern feel .It has a impressive decked garden terrace which then overlooks the lawns of the former Bowling green. We didn’t book a table and assumed the first week in January it would be quiet but how wrong were we the place was bustling and had a few large parties booked in. Could it be their philosophy of using simple and fresh food and sourcing local ingredients that work in harmony together creating simple fresh dishes that has drawn so many people out on a wet winters evening the first week in January.

We were impressed with the well stocked bar including craft beers, a great selection of ciders and large wine list but also a vast Cocktail menu with an array of tipples including Bakewell Tart Amaretto or a Fiery Jack Daniels to warm you up on a cold evening.

For starters we decided on a sharing platter it was aptly named the Butchers Block and consisted predominantly different types of meat including Cajun chicken strips , ham hock Terrine which was layered with bacon and chicken, locally produced Vaughan’s Welsh dragon sausages and a variety of Spanish charcuterie meats including salamis and Parma Ham. The platter was presented impeccably with side dishes of Bury black pudding, baked breads a delicious chargrilled and red onion relish, mixed olives and a pot of homemade rhubarb chutney. The platter was wholesome and tasty the only thing I felt it was missing was dipping oil or maybe some Hummus.

The main course arrived promptly and looked just as appealing as the platter. Reg had opted for the Home made Beef Burger which was massive! It was stuffed with thick cut Bacon, Baby gem lettuce and tomatoes and then topped with The Millstones own special recipe BBQ sauce which was delicious it also had fresh pickles piled high between a toasted Brioche bun. It came presented beautifully on a platter with a rustic Tin of homemade chunky chips and a pot of mustard slaw. After deliberating over Goosnargh Duck Breast served with celeriac mash, sticky apples, bury black pudding, roast baby parsnips, honey, orange and black cherry sauce or Thai vegetable, Tomato and Coconut Goan curry it was the Thai curry that won as I wanted something light and refreshing after the huge meat feast!

The curry was just as I hoped really fresh and fruity with abundance of seasonal vegetables and undertones of coconut to complement the flavours it came with a crispy carrot and coriander bhaji which was different but worked well a lighter alternative to onions, it was also served with mango chutney and basmati rice.

A perfect meal from start to finish The Millstone in Penyffordd certainly deserves its recent award of Certificate of Excellence 2016 for Trip Adviser and previous to that “Best Newcomer Award 2015” in the Taste of Cheshire Food and Drink Awards.  In our opinion YES their philosophy of using simple fresh wholesome food is definitely the reason why people are returning to the Millstone even the first week in January when most pubs and restaurants are empty. A big well done to staff and management!

For the full menu and prices check out their website