The Trent Navigation Inn on Meadow Lane has had a somewhat mercurial life, even on their own website they note that the pub “throughout the years has at times been much loved or closed and neglected.” Over the 30 or more years that I have walked across the canal and onto Meadow Lane to pass it on the way to watch Notts County, it has in almost equal time been open and thriving, or boarded up and lonely, bereft of happy customers.
At the present time it seems to be enjoying a new lease of life, now owned by Great Northern Inns it is alongside the other local joints The Monkey Tree and The Southbank in West Bridgford, The Cross Keys in the Lace Market, and The Approach which is just up from the Market Square. Copper in West Bridgford is another local bistro bar that is part of the stable, and one that I have previously visited on this hunt.
But enough of those other places, this supposed to be about the Trent Navigation. I popped in this week just to get a sandwich and I ended up with a Club Sandwich which came with chips and a very good mixed leaf salad for £6.95. I quite liked the sandwich, nice basic white toasted bread, with an upper layer of egg mayonaisse, chicken and salad, and a lower layer of cheddar cheese and bacon. All the expected components. Really quite good flavours, my only criticism was that there was a bit of an issue with the structural integrity of the sandwich. That is a technical way of saying that it was so large that it fell apart as I was eating it. I think I have got used to those club sandwiches I had in the States that were held together with cocktail sticks. Knowing the UK there is probably some random health and safety regulation that prevents their use. My opionion is that if you are likely to stab yourself in the eye with a cocktail stick then you should not be allowed into a premise that serves alcohol to grown ups. Ok so maybe I am overexagerrating.
Another one of my favourite sandwiches at the Trent Navigation is the Coronation Chicken sandwich. This is quite different from many in that you get a whole chicken breast, with a coronation sauce filled with sweet sultanas and some leafy greens in a slices of soft white bloomer bread. It is really good value at £2.95, I have had this quite a few times.
The pub is now supplied by the Navigation Brewery which is situated just behind the pub in the old stables block. They have a pretty full range of beers, both in strength and type, that they supply featuring; a Traditional Ale at 3.8%, a Pale Ale at 3.9%, a Golden Ale at 4.3%, and a Classic IPA and a Stout at 5.2% and 4.4% respectively. I have been in here quite a few times recently and tend to favour the Pale Ale which is described as “a lighter cask ale that’s straw in colour with a distinctive fruity nose. It’s well hopped which lends itself to a refreshing and sharp finish especially welcome for those with a thirst on.” and the Golden Ale which is described on their website as “a medium-bodied, clean-tasting and refreshing ale. Not surprisingly it’s golden in colour with fruit and malt on the nose, satisfying biscuit flavours and a lasting malty aftertaste.”
Looking at the current menu there are a few of the Main meal options that I might return for, most notably I am quite interested in the “Pork and Apple Hotpot with Navigation Golden Ale, and a smoked cheese crust” for 7.95, others dishes using the local Navigation brewery beer are the Navigation Bangers made with pork and navigation stout served with butter cream mash and onion gravy, they also use the Stout in their steak pie, and they use the Pale Ale in the batter of their Fillet of Haddock.
Lots of different food options and beers to return for then.
The Trent Navigation is located on Meadow Lane just next to the canal. It is Stop no. 41 in the ‘Discover the Route to Real Ale’ guide.