Food

Restaurant Review: The Nag’s Head – Haughton, Cheshire

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This week saw me driving into the country to visit The Nag’s Head. Nestled in a quaint little village of Haughton I expected it to be empty on a Tuesday evening, I was wrong! There were lots of diners chatting over wine with their friends and family, such a lovely thing to see mid week in such a remote location.

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The interior is typical ‘country pub’ with feature walls and patterned chair covers. It reminded me very much of The Ram’s Head in Disley including the beautiful fireplace and pretty outside seating area.

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Choosing what to eat was quite a challenge with such a varied menu. I have to be honest and say I could have chosen several things for each course and been completely happy with it. The Nag’s Head are proud of their local producers too, so proud they have their images on a wall!

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Whilst perusing the menu we chose to share one of the nibbles to help the decision making process and the sweet and sour tomatoes with black pea houmous and breads made the cut.

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Priced at £5 we were expecting something much smaller, this could have been a normal starter! The black pea houmous could have done with a touch of seasoning but the black peas were a lovely change to chickpeas. I wanted the sweet and sour tomatoes to be softer but Charlie loved them and hovered them up. That said, I loved the garlicky spicy oil they had been marinated in and this was mopped up with the gorgeous homemade breads.

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Choosing the lightest starter I could find (I’m trying my damnedest to find healthier options in restaurants so I can still eat out whilst trying to lose weight!) I went for the chicken rillette with avocado. Obviously not the most healthy thing being cooked in fat and all but the scorched baby gem and avocado convinced me it was the best choice. The dish worked so well altogether with the freshness of the salad and slightly spiced chicken. It’s a superb summer dish. Charlie opted for something a little more stodgy with the eggy bread topped with Burt’s Blue cheese. It was perfect; soft and squishy egg soaked bread with beautifully rich gooey cheese melting on top. Good job I hadn’t ordered it as I would have needed 3 or 4 of them!

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For my main I went for a lighter option off the summer specials menu with the seafood platter. Not surprisingly the star for me was the mackerel pate. Well it was topped with butter and wonderfully creamy after all! The smoked salmon was soft and melted in the mouth whilst the prawns thermidor were juicy and lightly spiced. It was a summery fresh dish that would be perfect enjoyed in the garden here with a good glass of white wine.

Charlie let out an audible sigh when cutting into her venison. The meat just fell apart and was cooked beautifully. It needed a bit more sauce but then, no amount of gravy is ever enough for Charlie! The mash topped with black pudding was the nicest thing I have put in my mouth in a long time. I little my mash well seasoned and buttery, just the way my Mum makes it and this one is just that. With a bit of added cheese for richness, I could have eaten the whole thing and would have done had Charlie not been throwing me daggers across the table. I’ll go as far as saying it is the nicest mash I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant.

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Onto dessert and Charlie decided to test the menu with the cheese board. She has had some great ones but also some stinkers so it is always interesting to compare them. I went for something healthy sounding with the peaches and blueberry. Sweet peaches topped with crunchy granola and a side of Guernsey milk yoghurt was light and refreshing. I liked that the yoghurt was served on the side so I could decide how much I wanted with my dessert. I tipped the whole thing on it was that good!

The cheese board had a fig chutney on the side which was slightly different to what you normally get and was really good. Cheese wise the waitress had told the chef that Charlie had enjoyed the Burt’s Cheese so he included the Burt’s drunken blue for her to try along with a smoked Chorlton cheese. They were delicious and almost tailored to Charlie’s taste, something I’ve not seen in a restaurant before.

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As the sun set over the Cheshire countryside we took some snaps of the beautiful outdoor dining area and promised to return, unfortunately the transport links out here aren’t great so I will need to bring the car. With their superb wine menu that is a real shame, now to find someone else who can chauffeur me so I can sample the whole thing… with more of that amazing mash.

We were invited to eat as guests of the Nag’s Head but paid for our drinks. This is an honest and unbiased review. When you try that mash you will believe me…

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