Secret Diner Reviews: Buttercross House, Oakham

Published on July 23, 2014

By Vicky Redshaw

A warm welcome greeted us as we walked into Buttercross House, a quirky cafe/restaurant in Oakham. We’ve eaten cake here before during the day, but never had an evening meal… until now!

Although the drinks list is short, it’s well planned. Bottled beer suited one, Luscombe ginger beer another, and wine for £20 a bottle was chosen by the remaining two! What’s not to love about well priced, well chosen drinks? A jug of water was brought to the table shortly after we had found our table, without asking.

The menu is short and well planned too: nibbles and larger platters for starters, four main course choices and four puddings; they’re all freshly prepared and there’s no boil in the bag here! Having wolfed down the (Hambleton Bakery) bread, oil and balsamic vinegar and cruidites with homemade tzatziki and hummus, it was time for the main event. If you’re expecting smart cuisine, this isn’t the place for you. However, if fresh home cooking with a twist is your game, you’ll be in heaven.

My friends opted for the Reuben burger, which they declared was divine: not overcooked and just right – and the topping of pastrami, pickles and cheese were great. I had pork loin with a mustard cream sauce, which was superb and came with sauté potatoes, carrots and green beans.

Feeling full but needing to try the full menu, we succumbed to the Mars bar brownie – with four spoons. We will definitely return to Buttercross House.

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By Helen Myers

A few months ago I had to wait around in Oakham for my eldest son to finish squash practice – it was around 6pm and all the normal coffee shops had closed. I wanted to sit, read and have a coffee, but where? Buttercross House had not long opened and as I walked past I heard laughter – it looked like a fun place and wandered in.

Well, many visits later I can confirm it’s a great place! Wonderful food, great breakfasts, fabulous soups, cakes to die for – especially the coffee, walnut and chocolate – lovely dinners and yes a really decent cup of coffee! They have a small menu which I always think is a positive thing – it’s fresh and imaginative. It’s also reasonably priced, almost always open and the staff are really welcoming and friendly, even to a nearly 50-year-old woman only buying a coffee! They also do lots of other things including holding a book club, knitting groups and supplies, Annie Slone paint and various classes to name but a few.

It’s the sort of place that deserves to do well & I can’t recommend it highly enough.

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'.