IT’S no secret that Kirkby town centre is a bit of a nightmare to drive around, especially on a busy weekday lunch time.
But continue just out of the town towards Pinxton and you will find The Countryman, which has a distinctly rural feel about it.
The place is clearly popular (just look at the reviews on Trip Advisor) and when I went along last Wednesday lunch-time, it was packed.
As soon as I walked in, I was instantly greeted by the friendly front of house staff.
The waiter who was looking after my table was introduced by name, which I thought was a lovely touch, and he promptly brought my drink over while I looked at the menu.
The choice is extensive - and if you are a something of a carnivore then you will be in for a treat.
There are also lots of fish and veggie dishes, along with a lunch-time specials menu and gluten free choices.
Normally I prefer a smaller menu with an emphasis on quality rather than quantity - but the dishes I had, at least, were of a pretty high standard.
I started with a goats’ cheese, pear and walnut salad, which had a delicate orange, honey and mustard dressing and the saltiness of the cheese worked well with the sweetness of the pear and the peppery rocket leaves.
I had chosen a chicken sizzler as a main course - and when it arrived it sizzled so loudly that the sound filled the room.
The dish consisted of large pieces of chicken flavoured with punchy cajun spices, with peppers, mushrooms and onions.
You can get free top ups of salad and chips but I didn’t need them as the dish was so big.
My only minor disappointment with the meal was that the chips were a little tough and leathery, while the side salad could have done with a dash of dressing.
Tel: 01623 752314
Open daily: food served from 11.30am until 9pm