Review: The Martin’s Arms, Colston Bassett

Published May 21, 2012

By Rachel Cullis Dorsett

Nestled in a picturesque corner of the beautiful Vale of Belvoir is a real gem. The Martin’s Arms at Colston Bassett is not only a fine dining pub and restaurant but a haven of good taste and tranquility. It has top-end prices, but offers top quality too.

We visited mid-week for a quiet bar meal and settled at one of the oak tables in front of a roaring fire. The décor is traditional and comfortable: squashy banquet seating, feather cushions, hunting paintings and a Jacobean fireplace festooned with food trophies, including its latest gong – Nottinghamshire Dining Pub of the Year 2012.

The copper-topped bar is incredibly well stocked and if you are a real ale drinker then there are many treats to behold: Woodforde’s Wherry, Timothy Taylor’s Landlord, Greene King IPA or perhaps a pint of Black Dog. A distinguished range of whiskies and brandies plus an extensive wine list are also on offer.

The service from Italian maître d’ Silvio was just the right mix of attentive and friendly. To kick off we chose mushroom mousse with winter root crisps, which was fresh, light, and clean on the palate, and my husband had a pretty chicken and globe artichoke terrine.

Silvio offered us a fillet steak with mushrooms and the most perfectly cooked chips I have tasted. My husband opted for a very rich and manly braised blade of beef, which kept him quiet until the plate was clean.

To finish, we decided to share a delicate, light and fluffy cheesecake with a pear sauce, plus a wondrous cheese board. The decadent selection of English and French cheeses, home-made chutney and crackers plus another bottle of excellent house red polished off a wonderful treat.

By the time we had tucked all that away, it was 11.30pm. The fire had died but the atmosphere was still roaring. We shall return.

The Martin’s Arms is part of Great Food Club.

Click here to visit the Martin’s Arms website.

Cuisine: Modern British
Price per head: £35-£50 (three courses & drinks)
Kids welcome: In restaurant only but no highchairs are available
Dogs: No
Car parking: Car park to the side
Food times: Mon-Sat: 12-2pm and 6-10pm; Sunday: 12-2.30pm

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MENU SAMPLES
Starters
Lentil, Bean and Radish Shoot Salad, Sultana Vinaigrette, Stilton and Apple (v), £6.50
Pork Croque Monsieur, Aged Cheddar, Horseradish Cream, Watercress, £7
Seared Scottish Scallops, Jerusalem Artichokes, Truffle £9.50
Mains
English Rump of Lamb, New Season Champ, White Bean & Radish Relish, Sweet Bread £19.50
Roasted Duck Breast, Yorkshire Rhubarb, Celery & Sultana Puree, Sweet Potatoes £17.50
Somerset Brie Risotto Cake, Spinach, Wild Mushrooms, Hidden Egg, Truffle (v) £16.50
Puddings
Baked rice pudding, plum jam, ginger bread, £5.50
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Matt Wright
The author:

Matt lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two kids and dog. He is passionate about British pubs, slow food and home brewing. He founded Great Food Club (originally as Great Food Magazine) in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town of Melton Mowbray - Britain's 'Rural Capital of Food'.