The Hercules Revived in Sutton Cheney hits the spot
The Hercules Revived (20% off the a la carte menu for GFC members – more here) is an old coaching inn located a stone’s throw from Bosworth Battlefield in north-west Leicestershire. Not so long ago it was just ‘The Hercules’ but then current owner Oliver Warner rejuvenated it and decided a slight name change was in order.
And what a great job the rejuvenation team have done. Not just to the fabric of the building, but more importantly to the quality of the service, food, drink and general atmosphere. Few village pubs feel as vibrant as this, at least on the evidence of our recent visit: we soaked up a buzzing atmosphere on a Saturday afternoon, reminding us what many good pubs used to like at weekends.
Our reason to visit (as if we needed another in addition to the fact it’s a great pub) was a six-course beer lunch, held upstairs. The downstairs area is quite long and narrow, modern-feeling, and not hugely restauranty but rather nice and pubby in a good way. Upstairs is very different: a more plush space devoted to dining and divided into three small open-plan rooms.
After Oliver – one of the youngest and most spritely landlords we’ve met – had introduced the lunch and first beer, we dived straight into the food, cooked by head chef Glyn Windross. All courses were delicious and matched well with the beers. The ham hock terrine with carrot, leek and aniseed went beautifully with Meantime’s Yakima Red, the peachy hoppiness of the beer – balanced by a nice malty backbone – neutralising and then somehow enhancing the saltiness of the ham hock.
Further highlights included a slow-cooked blade of beef in Madras sauce with sag aloo potatoes with Chapeldown’s Curios IPA (a fantastic, well balanced IPA, by the way); and – my personal favourite course of the day – a very simple Lincolnshire Poacher with pub chutney, biscuits and fruit matched with What The Fox’s Hat by Churchend Brewery. The Poacher was perfect – room temperature and moreish. And Fox’s Hat – a traditional English cask ale (the Hercules Revived’s biggest cask seller) was a good fruity foil.
The dessert was decadent and special: salted caramel & peanut with chocolate ganache and white chocolate ice cream. This was served with Guiness Dublin Porter – a dark, rich number. By this stage no one cared if it matched. But it did – superbly.
This was a wonderful lunch, expertly hosted by Oliver, well thought through by the kitchen team. The Hercules Revived is run expertly by someone who really knows what they are doing. Moreover, the team are passionate about hospitality and clearly love to please. Our advice is to head to The Hercules Revived – you’ll enjoy it!