The Queen’s Head, Hethersett - 1st March 2011
The thing with Hethersett is, you have to choose between the King and the Queen: both their heads reside in the village, and so on the principle of Ladies first, and because a friend from my swimming group recommended it breathlessly at the deep end, we ‘plumped’ for the Queen – how prophetic that word proved to be.
The pub is an attractive place from the outside, plenty of parking spaces and an outside patio where one could eat and watch the children in the play area, but not on a freezing cold day in early March, me thinks! Inside was warm, welcoming, light and spacious; I spotted a gentleman sitting at the table next to ours who looked familiar: before I had a chance to work out who he might be, a voice I recognised (from the deep end) said ‘Hello’. So we became a dis-jointed party of five, giving me the chance to report on three different main courses.
My wine, a lovely buttery Sauvignon Blanc, arrived at the table whilst I was still inspecting the menu for the low calorie option. The waitress suggested consulting the specials board. I did, and found the words ‘fore-rib of beef’ and capitulated. Others in our extended group ordered Pork Stroganoff (2), haddock and chips (1) and my original companion - who has just lost a stone - chose something very small from the starter menu.
Fore-rib is by far the best beef joint there is, and hiding under two beautiful Yorkshire puddings was the largest portion of soft meltingly delicious roast beef I have ever eaten. The mixed selection of vegetables accompanying it was nicely cooked and tasty; my mashed potato arrived separately and regrettably half returned to the kitchen uneaten – there was just too much of everything. The fish’n’chips to the left of me looked beautiful, and was declared excellent by the man-now-identified. The stroganoff to the right of me looked sumptuous and creamy, full of pork and not too spicy – I was told. My recently-reduced original companion managed to force down her potato wedges with stilton and bacon in a rich creamy sauce without any difficulty whatsoever and with a smile on her face. All portions were large, and sadly only one of us had room for pudding.
Me, of course! Something light and delicate I thought. My recently-reduced friend added the words ‘please would you bring two spoons’ to my request for a chocolate fudge brownie and ice cream topped with fresh whipped cream. I silently prayed that she would be given a small teaspoon. I should have prayed for a tablespoon! The thing practically needed two waitresses to carry it; oh what a glorious concoction it was. Warm crisp brownie with a melting chocolate middle topped with vanilla ice cream and a mound of fresh cream. I don't actually like fresh cream, so we scooped it onto a spare plate and devoured the remainder. Coffee was ordered and brought (a separate mini-cafetière of good hot strong coffee each) and my not-so-reduced friend proceeded to pile the cream onto her coffee – her one weakness, I presume.
I have no demerit points to award to this pub. Everything was excellent; toilets (including a spacious disabled one) were the best I have so far encountered. The service was attentive without being intrusive. A very enjoyable lunch followed by a small glass of diet tonic at about 9 pm; nothing more than that!
Not the cheapest meal ever but absolutely worth every penny. About £36, rounded up to conform to our usual two drinks, two main, two puds and two coffees arrangement.
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