Off the beaten track, this country pub is a traditional gem with top quality food and a friendly bustling atmosphere.
For a Tuesday evening I was surprised to see so many tables filled and there was a lovely warm feel - helped by an open log fire.
There’s a traditional feel with trinkets and pictures filling the walls and even a wild pig head wearing a fez.
Our waitress was chatty and cheery which helped make you feel at home as soon as you stepped through the door.
The menu changes regularly and is written on a blackboard which is filled with pub grub classics.
From lamb jalfrezi to steak and ale with suet dumplings there’s something for everyone.
I shared a starter with one of my dining partners - which turned out to be a wide decisions as the portions were very impressive.
Having ordered the duck spring rolls with hoisin and chilli dip, we’d asked for a spare plate to split the meal. Instead, the waitress brought out our dish already halved. Making it a lot easier and was just a nice, thoughtful touch.
We got a roll each accompanied with salad which was more than enough. The roll was crispy and the filling was fabulously flavoursome.
After much deliberation, I decided on the beer battered haddock with chips and mushy peas. It’s not something I’d normally order but I certainly didn’t regret my choice.
The batter had the perfect crunch and the home made chips were delicious - although I was full I couldn’t help nibbling on them until my plate was cleared.
My aunt indulged in the haddock chowder which she said was filled with flavour and the haddock itself was “perfectly flaky”. It was presented with a large, warm bread roll and butter.
The portions are very generous but they don’t miss out on the quality and all three of us kept eating well past being full which is a testament to the dish.
My cousin was equally as impressed with her choice - the steak and ale with suet dumpling. It was served with a selection of vegetables and the choice of creamy mash or chips.
When our plates were cleared we all felt like undoing the top buttons on our jeans and the discussion began as to whether we could eat a pudding.
The selection looked mouthwateringly good and the waitress soon tempted us with a ‘small helping’ rather than the full dish - another charming touch and a great sales pitch.
I indulged in my personal favourite, sticky toffee pudding. The sponge was almost flooded in sauce - just how I like it. My aunt and cousin treated themselves to the marmalade bread and butter pudding which they said was delicious but needed a bit more orange flavouring.
The Grapes Inn is a traditional country pub with superb food and a proper community feel.