Last month I was contacted and asked to review the (recently refurbished) De Rodes Arms, Chesterfield. The De Rodes Arms wanted to know our thoughts on the refurbishment and the new menu that has been introduced.
As most of my friends, family and followers will know, I am food mad. I talk about food as soon as my eyes open in a morning and the last thing at night when my head hits the pillow, so this email request made me ONE HAPPY LADY. We decided to dine over the weekend (Saturday 1st April) and we took my toddler along for the ride.
I didn’t really know what to expect and the Trip Advisor reviews were not that kind if I’m being honest (with a different chain) and if my memory serves, it pointed to typical pub grub with nothing particular of note.
So it’s probably fair to say that I didn’t have particularly high expectations from a ‘chain’ pub/restaurant, before we arrived.
When we arrived in the Reception area, we were a little confused as to where to order food and drinks and how the ordering process worked but once we had been to the bar the staff explained at little more. You order the starters and then take a bleeper to your table, this will go off once your starters are ready and they can be collected from the pizza section.
We our took at seat and had a look at the menus whilst enjoying a nice glass of Pinot Grigio. My son loved the dinosaur kids menu together with the dinosaur drawing/activity sheet and crayons he was given – so that was a nice touch as it’s often difficult to find restaurants that endeavour to keep the kids happy and entertained.
We decided to order a couple of starters which were pigs in blankets and black pepper mushrooms with a blue cheese sauce. My son went for fish fingers and when the food was ready at the pizza section we were advised to go and help ourselves to everything else. I decided I wanted a carvery for my main and was given a ticket to go up whenever I was ready.
So whilst waiting for our meals, I explored the building and, I have to say, I thought the decor was colourful, warm and welcoming.
The beeper then went off on the table and my son thought it was hilarious to answer the bleeper like a telephone.
My son decided he wanted some chips and beans with his fish fingers so I popped up to collect them and served the beans from this great selection below, together with the chips from the carvery section.
I did try and encourage him to try the fab salad bar that we could also use – but he was definitely not in a ‘trying new food’ mood.
The salad bar looked great and had a good selection of dressings to choose from.
On to the main event – feast your eyes on this amazing selection! From the carvery, you could choose from Steak and Ale Pie, Sausages, Half a Roast Chicken, Gammon, Turkey or Beef. I was really impressed with this selection as I was with the sides which were on offer, such as green beans and cauliflower cheese together with your usual carrots and peas. There was also creamy mashed potato and beautifully crisp roast potatoes. I was spoilt for choice!
Luca was pretty thrilled at being provided with his free activity sheet and crayons, which kept him entertained whilst enjoying his fish fingers, chips and beans.
Here was my plateful. I opted for both beef and turkey but I was also offered a sausage which my son soon swiped off my plate. The roast potatoes were so nice and crispy and were definitely not ready made from the freezer. The mash was lovely and creamy and the vegetables still had a nice bite to them. There was also the option to have onion gravy or just the standard…. so I had a bit of both.
I could then have added anything else I wished, such as chips, beans, mushy peas – basically anything that was available in the restaurant. Our lunches were very tasty and you can get a lot on your plate, so to ‘go large’ would definitely have put me in a food coma.
Along with the traditional carveries that are served all week, you can also order pizzas or burgers – which I have to say looked very tempting when I saw them come out. As with our meals, you then go up to help yourself to the salad bar, chips and or veggies again.
Dessert time – I opted for a strawberry and cream cheesecake, it was super rich and tasted amazing. It was very creamy and the biscuit base still had a crunch to it, nothing soggy in sight. I would possibly have preferred a little scoop of ice cream with mine rather than the squirty cream, but it was still lovely nonetheless.
My son opted for the smiley face custard. He had spotted this as soon as he opened the menu and told me that’s all he wanted, no dinner just that initially – ha ha. I don’t actually think he processed what it was, he just pointed to the picture and said, ‘I want that!’ So when it arrived, lets just say he was super excited. It was creamy custard with a chocolate button and sauce face – he was delighted!
After dessert, Luca wanted to have a look around and spotted the ice cream and sprinkles station, the sweet shop and toy grabber, so of course I was talked into everything. These were really cute additions to a traditional restaurant – and definitely not something you’d do all the time, but for a treat – this is a kid’s paradise.
I also must add that all the staff were very friendly and attentive. We were always asked whether we required another drink, they enquired about our food and made a real fuss of my son, which he loved.
After lunch, we popped outside to the front of restaurant where there is an area with patio tables – just a shame there wasn’t a little children’s slide as maybe my son would have stayed a little longer, but it definitely didn’t stop him from having fun.
I went to settle the bill which came to a total of £42.73. This included 2x starters, 3x mains, 3x desserts and we had alcoholic drinks plus my son had a soft drink. We thought this price was incredibly reasonable for a meal for three people. The menu choices and prices really surprised me, the standard carvery is £5.99 pp with an option to go large and the starters and desserts range between £3-£4.00, kids meals are also around £3-£4.00.
This is great value and knowing you could have a meal and drink with a friend for under £20.00, well I think these prices are very hard to beat elsewhere.
So to conclude, we loved the restaurant, the food was tasty, great value for money and we can’t wait to return!
For more information on De Rodes, Derbyshire, then please visit their website here: The De Rodes Arms, Chesterfield.
I was asked to review the restaurant by The De Rodes Arms. All views are my own.