This is a venue I’ve been to many times over in the past 20 odd years. To be honest its ‘face’ has changed a good number of times during that period.
The Normanton Inn incorporated into the recently re-furbished and branded Clumber Park Hotel and Spa looks on first site a bit of a poor relation to the rest of the popular venue.
We entered the restaurant, branded as informal on the hotel’s website, and it was empty.
Ok, it was a Thursday lunch-time, but this is walking country, hosts a spa and is on a busy road between Nottingham and Doncaster.
The decor is dark brown and a bit drab, so first impressions weren’t fantastic.
However, the menu - written on two huge boards in chalk did look appealing.
I opted for good old Haddock in a Black Sheep beer batter and chips with minted mushy peas, while my guest chose pork belly on a bed of mash. We ordered a side of onion rings.
Our waitress was very attentive, and quipped that it would ‘get busier soon’. I had my doubts.
However, the food came along to distract us.
My guest fared better than I did, and his pork belly looked delicious, and I was assured that it was.
The mash also got a thumbs up.
We both loved the onion rings, but sadly my fish, which looked impressive, was a let down on taste.
The batter was a bit too thick for me, and my chips were below average - too hard, too brown and difficult to eat.
So onto pud.
My sticky toffee pudding with warm sauce and ice cream was totally divine, and my guest enjoyed his creme brulee, but did moan that it wasn’t hot and had probably been pre-prepared.
Tel 01623 835333