I've confessed previously in these pages to our cheapskate tendencies so
when the Cambridge News
announced a "Two Courses for £10" dining out
offer we eagerly scanned the list of pubs and restaurants taking part. It
Red Lion at
Hinxton. This is a regular
Good Beer Guide entry
where I quite often have a drop of ale but I'd never eaten here despite
knowing its good reputation.
Thirst things first and into the pubby front bar to see what was on the wickets.
The three regulars - Woodforde's Wherry, Adnams Bitter and Greene King
IPA - had been joined by the current guest beer, Brandon Rusty Bucket, a
fruity best bitter from Suffolk. New territory for us now as we were shown to
our tables in the rear dining room. This part-occupies a large and fairly recent
extension though it all blends well with the original interior (the Red Lion is in
a 16th century building and though much altered inside is full of character -
note the polished copper doorsteps for instance). The dining room is high-
ceilinged with lots of light oak beams and several rather disconcerting
mounted deer heads. Anyway, onto the grub. The "£10" menu was naturally
restricted but we had no problem finding main courses which looked the part. I
chose Char-grilled Chicken with a Coriander, Lemon and Fresh Mango Salad.
This arrived as a generous helping of succulent chunky strips of chicken in a
very tasty salad, the mango providing unusual piquant notes. My only slight
grumble as a coriander-freak was that this fine herb was less than prominent.
Jane's Lamb and Adnams Ale Goulash was pronounced to be very tasty and
pleasantly spicy. Lamb is a difficult meat to get right and many times you
seem to leave as much as you eat. This however was lean and tender, not a
morsel left on the plate. The creamed mashed potato was also beautifully light
Our second course, as you may have guessed by now, was sweet not starter.
The Red Lion is renowned in this quarter, winning the Publican's Dessert Pub
of the Year in 2007 and hosting a regular Pudding Club so we had high
hopes. Jane went for Bread and Butter Pudding which came with an orange
sauce. She enjoyed it but felt it was primarily a Bread Pudding - it certainly
didn't much resemble the best B&B Pudding in the world (the one my dad
makes). My Rum and Raisin Cheesecake was absolutely fine, if a bit light on
Overall this was superior fare and a steal for £10. Normal prices come in at
around £10-£14 for a main and £5 for a sweet.
Service was friendly albeit a
little slapdash at times. For instance when I ordered my second pint at the bar
I was told it would be brought over but if a waiter hadn't been accosted ten
minutes later I doubt it would have arrived. We were also initially charged for
three courses rather than two. However these were minor blemishes on an
otherwise excellent night out.