Eating out in and around the county is one of my favourite things to do in the evenings and on weekends. I enjoy dining out with friends and family on regular occasions to support the local pubs, restaurants and cafes. I thought that I would share where my favourite places to wine and dine in the county are and why. So here goes!
1. The Lord Nelson, Oakham
As you will learn from this list, I'm a big fan of pizza. The Lord Nelson is part of the Knead Pubs group and is definitely one of my favourite places to eat. With a unique setting, hidden away in the corner of Oakham, you will find a gem. A traditional pub with stunning decor, great beer and the best pizzas in town!
The Nelson has a large menu full of all your pub-grub favourite, as well as unique sides of Yorkshire and gravy or pigs in blankets. With (back to pizzas again) the most awesome pizza menu with every possible topping you could imagine. I always order my favourite; Margarita with olives and mushrooms, but don't forget the chilli oil!
The Nelson is a great place to wine and dine in a relaxed atmosphere with delicious comfort food at great prices in the heart of Rutland.
2. The White Swan, Harringworth
I grew up in Harringworth and have spent many years visiting the pub. The Swan has had its fair share of owners in my 22 years, but now I think it's the best it's been for a very long time.
Chef, Rob has created a menu of delights, as well as themed evenings such as; Curry & a Pint Wednesdays, Fish & Chip Fridays and Steak Night Saturdays. I recently visited on 'Curry & a Pint Night' and I definitely will again.
3. Aloha Foods Co, Stamford
Aloha is new to Stamford and when I stumbled across it a couple of months ago I was so pleased to read the menu. A healthy take on 'fast food' which is made to order from a simple but effective menu, with the coolest of illustrations. Aloha foods has a relaxed feel with rustic decor and a few bar style seating areas.
With halloumi, steak, chicken, steamed veg, rice etc there is so much choice, whatever your dietary needs, and everything is prepared fresh for you while you wait. Sometimes when you're on the go, you don't want to sit down for a large meal for lunch, and especially if the sun is shining you can take your Aloha order to the meadows and sit and eat along the river.
4. The Exeter Arms, Barrowden
One of my favourite pubs in the county close to my heart. In the village my mother grew up in and where we once lived, The Exeter Arms is now owned by The Wade family, and what an amazing pub they run together.
With live music nights and the odd pub quiz and themed evening here and there, Jo and Tom run a pub you can rely on for delicious food and a great family-friendly atmosphere as well as being dog-friendly with outdoor seating with views over the Barrowden duck pond.
5. The Castle, Caldecott
The Castle used to be someone my boyfriend and I spent many evenings a few years ago looking for affordable but tasty food not too far from where we live. The Castle is a great location for a family meal or a party with its large dining area and equally large menu.
However, when we moved to Uppingham, my boyfriend and I were chuffed to realise that you'll find The Castle on JustEat App and you can order their hand-made, stone baked, super delicious pizza's to your house for only £1 delivery - we take advance of this often!
6. Don Paddy's, Uppingham
At literally a stones throw from where I live, Don Paddy's is where we spend many weekends drinking and weekdays eating out at. We love Don Paddy's for the chilled atmosphere and friendly staff. Being able to eat and drink outside in the summer is lovely and is usually somewhere we also spend New Years Eve.
Don Paddy's have a fabulous selection of Gins, as well as an amazing cocktail menu, where Rory will make you basically any cocktail you desire. The menu is also fab, it has something for everyone and my personal favourites are; three bean chilli, vegetable and hummus wraps, chickpea curry and the irresistible skinny fires!
7. The Courtyard Deli, Uppingham
Now, until this week I had never visited The Courtyard Deli, but after my friend, Florrie, from Curious Design told me I just have to go, I did. I am so glad I did because The Courtyard Deli is hidden away off the high street, but next time you're in Uppingham and fancy a soup or a sandwich, or maybe a browse of their shelves full of local and organic produce you must pop in... I'll be heading back next week!
8. The Rutland Cake Company, Oakham
I've been obsessed with The Rutland Cake Company's Cafe since its launch earlier this year. I regularly visit for their tasty baguettes, soup and of course, the cakes and bakes! The owner, Naomi and her team are always welcoming and always have some tasty treats you cannot leave without.
I often pop over because you can guarantee a delicious meal in a lovely cafe which has plenty of parking too - which is a lot to be said for in Oakham right now!
9. The Falcon, Uppingham
My go-to place for meetings. A relaxed and calm atmosphere with comfortable seating, classic menu, friendly staff and in The Falcon you almost feel at home. It's a very popular place for locals to visit, as well as a popular location for tourists and visitors of the area to stay at.
My favourite thing to eat is their moreish egg and cress sandwich which comes with salad and coleslaw. It's my favourite egg sandwich around!
10. Scandimania, Uppingham
Also new to the area this year is Scandimania! A place I'm sure you have heard of, as it is one that the Uppingham locals cannot stop talking about. It's been the talk of the town for months, 'Have you been to Scandimania yet?'... Well, yes I have and I love it. If you love coffee, healthy food, juice - and of course scandi food and design - then you'll just love it. A tiny little cafe very cleverly designed to make the most of the space with a few seating arrangements even if there isn't space to sit, it's worth a visit for a take out!
My favourite is the avocado and chilli toastie, which I order with 'The Greens' juice - yum!