The Poppy and Pint Public House is on the site of the old British Legion in Lady Bay. Well when I say on the site I mean in the site. In 2011 the British Legion in the formerly named Rutland Sports and Social Club was in trouble with growing debts, and the local Castle Rock Brewery came to the rescue taking over the place and refurbishing it. When it was re-opened it was named the Poppy and Pint after a local competition to find a suitable name that reflects both it’s former and new use.
This was my first visit here, and I was quite pleasantly surprised. It somehow managed to maintain a dual use as a social hub for the local community and a traditional pub within the same space. At one end it is the traditional public house, very alike to many of the Castle Rock pubs I have frequented. A great selection of real ales from that brewery plus a good sized chalkboard of other supping options. At the other end of the building is a coffee or cafe area for families, which is just far enough away to avoid, both with their own entrances. Outside in the back you can overlook the bowling green, and adjacent to the car park are the tennis courts.
But I did not come here for the community, I came for some pub food. So lets just have another look at those daily specials.
I had “Bœuf Bourguignon” which was one of the daily specials off the chalk board. This came with mustard mash and a pot of vegetables (carrots, brocccili, and cauliflower). It was a huge plateful or even bowlful of chunky tender beef in a rather nice red wine gravy sauce. There was a lot of meat and an even larger pile of mashed potato. I had been a little wary during my selection due to the mustard mash fearing that it might be really strong and overpowering as it sometimes can be. I need have had no such fear, it was quite delightful in it’s own way, the chef had shown a light hand in adding the mustard so that really you just got soft mash potato with a hint of mustard flavour. Just enough to take it a level above general mash. Overall a really good plateful of food, the only problem that it was too big, so no complaints then. It has been a while since I have had such a good meal in an English pub.
The other selection from the chalkboard was a classic plateful of ‘Cottage Pie’ which came with a cheese covered potato topping and peas. This is comfort food at it’s best, another larger plateful, plenty of creamy cheesy mash topping a huge pile of minced beef in gravy. I didn’t get to taste this dish, but it certainly looked enticing across the table. It was a good job that I had my own mammoth plateful to contend with, otherwise my fork may well have been hovering hopefully.
Overall great success in the pub food department and all washed down with some rather decent Castle Rock beer. The beer on this occasion being the excellent Harvest Pale. The main meals were just under 10 quid each, but that was good value for the quality and the size. You could get a smaller sandwich or a smaller meal if you so desired, and to be honest if you were planning to sup on a few pints of beer that might be a wiser option. However if you are here predominantly for the food try one of the daily specials from the chalkboard.
The Poppy and Pint is located on Pierrepoint Road, Lady Bay, West Bridgford. You can get there via public transport by taking the Green Line 11 loop bus from the City Centre and then walking about 5 minutes. It is one of the pubs in the “Discover the Route to Real Ale” booklet and you can track them down from their Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can also find their details via the Castle Rock Brewery site at http://www.castlerockbrewery.co.uk