Do you have a local pub, one where it feels you’re home from home? One where everybody knows your name? I haven’t felt as if I had a proper local for ages. Historically, I have preferred the quiet when dining, and being busy with work has so far filled the need to slip down to the pub for meetup and a chinwag.
But lately, I feel the need for a local, which is why I’m on the hunt for a good drinking establishment.
I didn’t mean to fall for the new pub I was booked in to review (it is only half hour away but I was looking for something a little closer).
The Tailors Arms in Wilford, Nottingham is the tempting pub in question.
It is a busy pub, and I am heartened to see the host circulating and greeting patrons near the bar.
His name is Theo, co-owner of The Tailors Arms, who has overseen transformation of the gastro-pub following a £100,000 restoration. The new menu is up for review, which includes vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. Seated towards the back in the restaurant section means we are away from the bar and the buzzing Saturday night crowd.
I sip a Pornstar Martini as I take in my surroundings and appreciate the attention to detail on adjacent tables decked out for a birthday party. A wooden disc elevates the centre piece and fresh flowers adorn the table, which gives me an inkling that The Tailors Arms is more than just your regular gastro-pub. These guys care.
Pan-fried seabass, beetroot salad
My seabass starter (pan-fried seabass, beetroot salad) is almost too pretty to eat. Rapunzel ribbons of golden carrot lie in a tempting tangle atop fillets of tender seabass. The beetroot salad spiked with horseradish is wonderful too, and my curiosity, along with my appetite, is sated by the sweet and sour that work exceptionally well on the palate.
Dining partner’s Tailors Fishcakes (pan-fried salmon fishcakes, tartar sauce, pea purée) are another treat. Don’t be fooled by these perfect spheres that could pass for nondescript. The flavour explosion of sea-fresh fish with tart citrus alongside comforting peas is so good, you will find yourself thinking of ordering another portion. (I refrained, but it was difficult.)
My main of coq au vin (chicken supreme, roast vegetables) is filling and generously portioned. The truffle mash is potent and moreish, whilst the red subtly sweet red wine jus brings the dish together nicely.
Dining partner’s grilled rack of lamb (creamy mashed and stacked potatoes, sautéed vegetables and gravy) is perfectly cooked, and the potatoes two ways are a joy to eat. This is one dish that is good before a night out, or perhaps one to eat on the morning after the night before. (Perhaps wait till 5pm, which is when the evening menu kicks in.)
Sides of onion rings come stacked higher than my to-read-list-of-books and the batter a joy to chomp through. So many onion rings can be floopy and of little consequence, but these guys here, these beauties are substantial, double-battered and a joy to scarf.
Dessert of chocolate trio arrives in a jar. It is a good dessert which has Nutella, chocolate sponge and chocolate mousse. I enjoy the spoonful that has all three components the most.
Wine pairings are also available as follows:
- Starter of sea bass + Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Turtle Bay.
- Main of coq au vin + Primitivo Salento.
- Dessert of chocolate trio + dessert wine Chateau les Mingets Sauternes.
The food is sublime, oxymoronically elegant and hearty all in one big greedy mouthful. Head chef Niko and his team should be proud of serving well cooked food on time, especially when larger parties are booked in. (I noted front of house remaining calm and seating and serving the larger party of 30 plus diners quickly and efficiently).
Front of house is friendly and work with a beaming smile. The pub exudes bonhomie and it makes me want to stay for longer. This is the holy grail of food and drink establishments, and the welcoming air is down to Theo and his team. Hats off to him for being a host most convivial (I saw him do the rounds of the establishments at least three times, as he kept a watchful eye on his patrons to see if everyone was having a great time).
I will most certainly be returning to The Tailors Arms; I hear their brunch menu is very good. Team The Tailors Arms, see you again very soon.
Restaurant name: The Tailors Arms
Address: Wilford Lane, Wilford, Nottingham NG11 7AX
How to make reservation: Telephone or online
Contact: Telephone 01159 144487 or email [email protected]
Head chef: Niko Giatinis
Front of house: Molly Howe
Bar Manager Josh Taylor
Owner: Theo Tsiolas
Caters for dietary requirements: Yes
Quietest tables: 25 / 26
Wheelchair friendly: Yes
How to get there: The Tailors Arms is around 30 minutes’ drive from Derby. It is also easily accessible by public transport from Derby and Nottingham city centre.
Whilst in the area: Nottingham city centre is a mere 10 minutes away. Duck into the intu Victoria Centre either pre- or post-meal for your shopping fix.