I was invited to The Devonshire Cat’s re-open evening where we got a chance to peruse the bar, try some of their beers and sample small bites from their new menu. Within the invite was a free three course meal and drinks to book for another day, so I booked it and myself and my Gary popped down on Saturday to see what they had to offer.
The layout of the Devonshire Cat has undergone a complete facelift, gone is the old furniture that looks like you’re having lunch at your Gran’s, patterned carpets that make your eyes go funny, the stale smell of beer and the bar stuck at the back. The new bar is now in the middle of the pub which makes it easy to view the beers and spirits on offer, as well as the handy beer menu which is opposite the main entrance (above the entrance to the loos). There are comfy booths, tables and benches as well as a general lounge area. It’s all quite swish!
So after picking our jaw’s up off the floor at our amazement given the changes, we were seated and introduced to our server (Sean/Shaun, sorry I’m not sure of which way he spelt it!). We were given time to examine the menu and decide what to pick. Gary and I have similar tastes when it comes to food, this can be a good thing or a bad thing, especially as there were several starters we both wanted to try! Eventually, I decided on the Scotch Duck Egg with home-made ketchup (£5.25) and Gary went for the Whitebait served with home-made lemon mayo (£4.95).
The Scotch Egg was served cold, which was a bit of a surprise I was expecting something warm with oozing yolk but it tasted lovely nevertheless. The ketchup which was served alongside it, tasted quite sweet I would have preferred a bit of a kick to it with chilli or pepper. I’m not a huge fan of whitebait, but I did try some of Gary’s (well it would’ve been rude not too!) whilst I didn’t particularly like it, Gary informed me it was the best he’s had. That’s high praise indeed.
For our main course, I decided to go by and old standard and that was the pie of the day, which was steak and ale (£9.95). Served with chips, home-made mushy peas and gravy, it didn’t look the prettiest as the pastry was all broken (I was informed that this was the last pie), it tasted darn lovely. Big thick pieces of steak in a rich warm sauce, with crispy chips and some of the best mushy peas I’ve ever had, it was pretty awesome! Gary on the other hand had the lamb chops with baked leek, crushed new potatoes, roasted vine cherry tomatoes and a red wine reduction. I had food envy at this, but didn’t want show it too much, besides I do love a pie!
To be honest, we don’t often do three courses when we go out for food, but we took the plunge and went for it. I had the pumpkin pie with pistachio brittle, home-made marshmallows and Bradwells vanilla ice-cream (£4.75), which was absolutely divine. It was sweet but not over sweet or heavy. Gary had the dark chocolate stout mousse serves with orange marmalade and salted caramel digestives (£4.95), which described as a stouty chocolate orange (which is pretty much was it says on the menu, so it can’t have been bad at all!).
Drinks wise throughout the meal I had Abbeydale’s Heathen and Gary had a Dark Star Creme Brulee and a Heathen, both of which were flavoursome and very drinkable!
All in all, we had a great meal at The Devonshire Cat, Gary even said this is the best meal we’ve had out in ages! Which to be fair I’d definitely agree with. With all it’s changes the Dev Cat has made a move for the better, the bar is inviting, the food delicious, the drinks plentiful and the staff we’re knowledgeable, welcoming and friendly.
Now even though the meal was free, Abbeydale Brewery/The Devonshire Cat weren’t expecting me to write about it. I’ve done this as a thank you to them, because we really did enjoy ourselves there and will return at some point soon, with friends!