Three Horseshoes Restaurant – Breedon, UK

I had been staying at the-almost-nearby Hilton East Midlands Airport with a few colleagues for almost three weeks. We were moaning about being really fed up of the same hotel food when someone in the office told us to try the Three Horseshoes.

Breedon-on-the-hill is a quaint little village about five miles from East Midlands Airport. I reckon it’s no more than 15 minutes off the M1.

We arrived into Breedon around 6pm on a Wednesday and found The Three Horseshoes just off the main road – it was busier than expected but there was still ample space in the free car park.

The pub is traditional.  I’ll call it a “pub” as that’s what it is, even though it more than that, a “Gastropub” probably but I was told recently they don’t exist anymore and that all anywhere that serves food is a gastropub…  Anyway; the Three Horseshoes wasn’t traditional in an “old-man’s-pub” sort of way, think traditional with big oak tables, a large fire and a lovely smell when you enter.

We were greeted quickly and informed that the menu of the day was on the blackboard in the bar. This is a testament to how fresh their food is and how often the menu changes; there is simply no point in printing menus.

I was handed a wine list while my colleagues took far too long to make a decision. To be fair it was a hard decision; everything sounded really good. While they were making strange noises about what to have, I ordered a bottle of 2008 Terrazas Malbec (£29) which was lovely and of course went wonderfully well with the steak (yes – a decision from at least one of my colleagues was looming). Our designated driver for the night ordered a spicy tomato juice and was ecstatic when he saw the size of the bottle of Worcestershire sauce.

Our order was taken while we loitered by the blackboards which was a slightly odd, but not unpleasant experience. We were taken to our table shortly after.

We opted for Hot Italian Bread (£2.75), Garlic Bread (£3.75) and some Olives (£3.75) as starters to share. Our mains were equally adventurous with three lots of Beef Fillet served simply with herb butter and black pepper (£26.50); and a Chicken Breast in a sweet potato and something-I-can’t-remember sauce (£16.95).

Our starters arrived after around 15 minutes which was just enough time to have a slurp of the wine. Now I know these starters aren’t particularly exciting, however they were done well. The hot Italian bread was just that, and was served with their own brand of oil and vinegar. Garlic bread was very strong and clearly made just for us. I was told that the olives were olives – not really sure what can go wrong with them!

Mains arrived about 10 minutes after our starters were cleared. We had three steaks – one rare, one medium and one well done. It was easy to tell which was which as they were all tender and very tasty. Chicken was equally tender and the sauce has some real taste to it. We shared some plates of boiled potatoes (a little bland, I would have preferred some mini roast potatoes), carrots (OK) and some red cabbage (it all got eaten) which was just enough to complete the meal.

It isn’t often that there are four clear plates with this dining party, but on this occasion that was the case. We all really enjoyed our meals and sat in a contented stupor for a short while after our meal.

Next up – pudding (all £5.50). We had Bread and Butter Pudding, Sticky Toffee Pudding, Chocolate Whisky Trifle and a coffee. These were proper deserts for grown-ups, and were prepared just for us. Again there were four empty bowls.

Service was attentive and friendly too – it seemed to be the kind of place that would remember you on your next visit.

There is a farm shop attached to the pub which sells homemade chocolates, jams, meats and cheese. I could have spent a small fortune in here but they would never have let me take it on the plane in hand luggage!

After our short drive back to the hotel we parted company for the evening. I was in my room reflecting about my experience of the evening; “contented” seemed to be an appropriate word to describe it. My intelligent and generally wordy colleague described the meal simply as “Tasty”. I would wholeheartedly agree.

The Three Horseshoes is an authentic old-world pub which offers real food. The prices are not cheap however the quality is high. They do a Sunday lunch here which I imagine would be gorgeous.

If you find yourself with a few hours to kill near East Midlands Airport then jump in a cab and have a bite to eat here – the experience will be infinitely better than anything else around the area. They have a really nice outside terrace along with a less formal snack menu – you might even catch some sunshine!

If you do visit make sure you have a quick look in the very old ‘prison’ across the road from the pub – a bit of history awaits!

The Three Horseshoes, Breedon-on-the-hill, DE73 8AN, +44 (0) 1332 695129.  Website


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