PUB REVIEW: THE QUEENS HEAD OCKBROOK, DERBYSHIRE

I visited The Queens Head Ockbrook for a spot of lunch. I wasn’t meant to stay too long. Honest. This didn’t happen.

Why did I stay longer than expected? What compelled me to remain glued to my seat in The Queens Head Ockbrook? What is so blooming great about this pub? (Honestly, this review raises more questions than a potential Trump-Russia investigation).

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Firstly, don’t be fooled by the unassuming, normal exterior, which is in direct juxtaposition to the quaint, almost sumptuous surroundings.

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Think of a tonal palate of slate greys, biscuit beige and deep chocolate and you’re halfway there imagining the interior. It is very well designed, spacious, and rather grand.

The pub boasts a good menu, featuring everything from burgers and sandwiches, to soups and heavenly sounding desserts such as elderflower syllabub.

I kicked off with crispy calamari (golden calamari, paprika dusting, lemon mayonnaise dip, pea shoots).

I’m going through a seafood fixation at the moment, and these tasty morsels didn’t disappoint. Tender, hot, yielding with the merest of bites, these were delicious. They were especially good when swiped through the lemony mayonnaise, whilst the earthy pea shoots added another dimension to the flavour profile.

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My dining partner had the potted crab (crab mayonnaise blend, avocado bed, artisan focaccia bread). I swiped a forkful, and thought the crab mixture was well seasoned and creamy. The addition of avocado ramped up the velvety texture, which when eaten with the warm bread, made for a delightful lunch.

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For main, I had the chicken burger (toasted brioche bun, tomato, gherkin, mayonnaise, cos lettuce, chips, tomato relish). Juicy chicken cooked just-so in a soft bun was simple and delicious. The chips too were very good, which I dunked a fair few times in the spicy tomato relish.

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My dining partner loved the mature Cheddar beef burger sans bacon (toasted brioche bun, tomato, gherkin, mayonnaise, cos lettuce, chips, tomato relish). All the burgers have the same delectable base of toasted brioche bun; I was especially intrigued by the vegetarian option and have earmarked this one for next time.

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Yes, we were stuffed, but you know me and my damn sweet tooth. I spotted a dessert offering of a ‘Mini Pud’, perfect for those (including yours truly) who crave something sweet, but who don’t want to bust their jeans in an indecorous manner. This trio of hazelnut praline profiteroles was a nutty delight, reminiscent of Ferrero Rochers. Crisp choux pastry dipped in tempered chocolate, with a silky mousse-like texture was a gorgeous end to a very good meal.

The Queens Head Ockbrook is a beautiful place to hang out, dine, drink and just be. They have a busy social calendar including gin tasting evenings, BBQ parties, a very special Bake-Off event, and they also host beer raffles and offer picnic hampers.

The Queens Head Ockbrook is one very special place to be. Hat-tip to the wonderful staff and chefs, with a special shout out to Joe Clarke, who looked after us during our visit. See you all again very soon.

Rating: (1: Hate: I’d rather eat my shoe – 10: Love: I’d sell my kidney for a meal here)

Food: 9

Value for money: 9

Ambience: 10

Service: 9.5

#InANutshell

Pub name: The Queens Head Ockbrook

Owners: Stonegate

Open since: November 2016

Covers: 100 plus extra seating outside

Address: Victoria Avenue, Ockbrook, Derby, DE72 3RN

Closest train station: Derby

Opening times: Monday – Thursday 11am-11pm / Friday – Saturday 11am – 12am / Sunday 11am – 11pm

How to make reservation: Telephone & online

Call: 01332 416293

General Manager: Dave Pike

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Whilst in the area check out: Ockbrook and Borrowash Cricket Club, or take a stroll in the surrounding greenery.

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