We felt the need to get out of town for the weekend and after a few hours scouring the internet found the highly rated The King’s Arms Wing, a couple of miles from Oakham.
A rural ‘pub with rooms’ and excellent reviews on Trip Advisor, The King’s Arms prides itself on using local produce, and ‘nose to tail’ cooking. It also has its own smokery and distillery on site.
Anyone who knows us well knows of our love of a good road trip so an early start saw us in Oakham by 11am. It’s really only big enough to fill a couple of hours, so after a poke around the castle and a visit to the excellent Farmers Market (don’t miss a visit to Hambletons Butcher and Baker) we were back on the road an hour later to Stamford for lunch.
Inside Oakham Castle. An unusual tradition whereby any Peer of the Realm passing through the town must present a horseshoe to the Lord Mayor of Oakham. (Picture courtesy of @JBBoardman)
Stamford was a first for both of us and a beautiful town. We found lunch at the excellent Crown Hotel in the town centre for lunch. Part of a small chain called Knead, it offered table service, roaring fires and lovely staff.
Perfectly sized portion of Welsh Rarebit with a Thyme and Mushroom compote.
Several antique shops later, we hit the road for Wing and took the scenic route as we were a little early for check-in.
We stumbled upon the beautiful Welland / Harringworth Viaduct which is apparently the longest viaduct across a valley in Britain. Again, pictures by @jbboardman but we managed to see it just before some dramatic weather rolled in.
The pub was everything we hoped it would be an our room ‘The Damson’ was a first floor room in a mews cottage just adjacent to the main pub. Beautifully furnished and decorated, The Damson had everything we needed and more.
The King’s Arms is mainly a dining pub but had a beautiful fire as a centrepiece and we bagged a lovely spot to enjoy a few drinks before dinner.
The most arduous task of the weekend was trying to choose what to eat for dinner from the extensive menu featuring all manor of game and smoked meats and fish together with more traditional pub food.
I particularly enjoyed watching the emotional turmoil that @jbboardman suffered whilst trying to chooose.
Orders were taken at your bar table and you were called through to dine when the first course was ready.
I chose a home smoked meat platter. (sorry about the quality of the photo – I was trying to be discreet). The Bresaola was amazing and still slightly pink in the middle.
Followed by Venison with red cabbage and Dauphinoise potatoes.
It was beautiful food with the lady on a nearby table exclaiming that it was the ‘the best meal I have ever eaten’.
After all that food, the need for a lie down was overwhelming and bedtime was slightly earlier than planned.
Still full from the previous night, we skipped breakfast (which was a little bit too early between 8.30 and 9.30am) but we had been promised various dishes including smoked eel or trout and other lovely breakfast meats and fresh eggs from the brilliant chickens in the pub garden.
The journey home was punctuated with a stop at the tremendous Iron Horse Ranch House in Market Deeping. So lovely to see a reasonably priced restaurant full of families enjoying Sunday Brunch. A stack of real American pancakes and maple syrup served by a charismatic biker set us up for the journey home.
A really excellent weekend had by all.