“ Address: London Road / Kegworth / Derby / DE74 2EY „
My husband booked us a table at The Otter, Kegworth as we were going to be in the area one Sunday and he doesn't like anything getting in the way of his Sunday lunch! Neither of us had ever been here before, but he found the place online and reserved us a table.
The Otter is on London Road in Kegworth, Derby and is located next to a canal full of narrowboats, so is quite picturesque. The pub is now part of a chain called Vintage Inns and we found it very easy to get to, being not far from the motorway. If you're using Sat Nav, the postcode is DE74 2EY. First impressions of The Otter were good, there was plenty of room for parking despite it being fairly busy (we went at around 2pm) and the pub has quite a nice atmosphere, with its beams and open fireplaces. The inside is very clean and has a comfortable, homely feel to it.
We waited to be seated and my husband gave our name to the gentleman who greeted us, but we were told there was no record of our booking. This was despite my husband having been sent a text message confirming the booking which had been made the previous Friday afternoon online. We were told not to worry and that they would find us a table anyway. To be honest I thought that would have been a given, after all we had a booking confirmation, so I didn't like being made to feel they were doing us a favour, since we were not at fault and had the text message as proof of this. The man who greeted us directed us to the bar to get drinks whilst he found us a table and gave us a tab number so we could have the cost of the drinks added to our meal.
At the bar, we were greeted by a fairly surly barman who barely spoke to us and frankly, made me feel like we were putting him to some great hardship by asking for drinks. We both ordered soft drinks and while we were waiting to be served, the greeter guy came back to us and said he would show us to our table. We asked if he could wait a moment since we were still waiting for the barman to give us our drinks. He said 'OK' then completely disappeared. We were left at the bar, drinks in hand, getting in the way of other customers, as we had no idea where we were supposed to be sitting, until he returned quite some time later, to show us to our table.
We were finally seated at a table with a little candle lantern near to a cosy fireplace and given the menus - one standard menu and then a little clipboard type thing with the Sunday lunches on it. The menu was actually quite impressive. I got the impression they were trying to do something a little more gourmet and upmarket than standard pub food. Things such as a Wild Boar and Chorizo burger or Coconut Crumbed Chicken Fillets are not perhaps what you would expect to find on a pub menu, although more standard options such as steak or fish pie also featured. As we had come for Sunday Lunch, we both chose the Roast Beef and Yorkshire pudding, although lamb, pork, chicken and a vegetarian option were also available on the Sunday lunch menu.
Although we had to wait quite a while before a waitress took our order (and annoyingly she then took the order of a table which had been seated after us first), the food did arrive really quickly. The Roast beef was served with roast potatoes, honey glazed parsnips, green beans, carrots and a Yorkshire pudding. The portion size was a bit smaller than we usually get from the pub we normally go to for Sunday lunch, but I still found it filling. The beef was cooked perfectly and had no fat on it and the vegetables were all cooked well without being limp or soggy, although I did find the parsnips a little too sweet for my tastes. Just enough gravy was on the meal too and the waitress offered us a choice of sauces, which were in little dishes rather than those horrible little sachets many places insist on offering.
Desserts were available, but we both declined as we were full from the main meal.
The total bill came to £23.90 which was £19.50 for two beef roasts and £4.40 for two soft drinks. I feel that was a fairly good price, especially since the food was of a fairly high standard.
Before I finish, another thing I will quickly note is the toilets which are located downstairs (a disabled toilet is available on the main floor). Although I felt they had tried hard to make them look nice by adding a vase of fresh flowers by the sink, there was a disgusting smell of sewerage and the floor looked like it hadn't been cleaned since the pub was built in 1800, so if possible I'd recommend crossing your legs until you get home!
All things considered, I would consider eating at The Otter again, and think it would be interesting to go during the week to try one of the more unusual items from their standard menu. The thing I felt was most lacking here and why I have knocked off two stars is their customer service was not great and the cleanliness of the toilets downstairs didn't match the cleanliness of the pub upstairs.