Dining Out: The George, Kilsby, Rugby, Warwickshire.
I had been looking forward to visiting The George at Kilsby having been there on a number of occasions in the past. Situated at the end of the original section of the A5 on a steep bend passing motorists could not miss the pub because of the bright blue signage which adorns this 18th c public house. Interestingly, the A361 which goes from Ilfracombe in Devon (195 miles – 314 km) terminates at the junction with the A5 outside the front door making it the longest ‘3-digit’ road in Britain. Now that’s one for their Sunday Night Quiz!
The ‘George Hotel’ as it was originally called, was named after King George III because the pub lies on the route of the old eighteenth-century turnpike road from Daventry to Lutterworth. George signed the Act of Parliament which allowed the turnpike road to be built. It was not named after George Stephenson, he of the steam locomotive `The Rocket` fame, whose son Robert Stephenson designed and constructed the nearby Kilsby Tunnel. The George is five miles south-east of Rugby and six miles north of Daventry which should place it within the county of Northamptonshire but the pubs website gives The George a Warwickshire address! Strange.
The only other pub in Kilsby is `The Red Lion‘ which is situated on the western edge of the village at the junction of two former medieval cattle drove-routes. Kilsby with a population of about 1,500 is now a modern commuter village with some fine old houses of mellow local Northamptonshire stone, most of which date from the 17/18c.
The George is a traditional English pub with a welcoming atmosphere. When you enter the pub on the right is an old-style pub bar lounge and to the left is the separate dining room/restaurant. The George also has a refurbished function room round to the side which is hired out for parties, meetings and hosts regular jazz and open -mic evenings. `The George Hotel` also has six bedrooms offering shared bathroom facilities. Each of the rooms has colour television plus tea and coffee making facilities. Situated a mile from the improved junctions 18/19 of the M1/M6 and A14 `The George` is very convenient for travellers looking for a bed and meal for the night. There is also a spacious beer garden at the back for those long summer evenings!
The George is very popular with locals from the village and has good local reputation for quality food and drink. The bar and restaurant were full on the evening of my visit. The bar stocks a wide range of fine draught beers and ales from across the country. The George also likes to source its vegetables and meat from local suppliers wherever possible. I was told their steaks come from Perkins Lodge Farm in nearby Long Buckby.
The staff welcomed my wife and I on our arrival and the waiting staff were smart, efficient and attentive during our meal but never obtrusive. We didn`t have to wait long to place our order and the food arrived in good time despite the other tables in the restaurant filling up fast whilst we waited.
I was very pleased to see one of my favourite draught beers available so I went for a couple of pints of Fuller`s London Pride as my liquid refreshment. My wife chose to savour a couple of large glasses of fine Shiraz, which she said, licking her lips, was delightful!
We decided to miss out on the starters so that we could try the homemade desserts from the `sweet board` at the end of our meal, so we went straight to the main courses from the extensive weighty `Evening Menu`.
8oz. Horseshoe Gammon,
pineapple rings, fried egg, chunky chips,
garden peas& dressed salad garnish £11-90
I chose the 8oz Horseshoe gammon steak with the usual accompaniments of pineapple rings, a fried egg, a few chunky chips, large number of garden peas and dressed with a light salad garnish. At £11-90 I thought it was rather expensive for such a simple dish but I enjoyed it.
Homemade boeuf bourguignon.
Served with dauphinoise potatoes & seasonal vegetables £14-90
My wife chose the French peasant dish of Homemade boeuf bourguignon. The stew was served on a large plate which made it look very tasty and appealing. There was plenty of meat in the stew broth flavoured with plenty of mushrooms, a light amount of garlic and ample onions in the tasty red wine sauce. The dish was served with dauphinoise potatoes which my wife said were sadly disappointing because they were not very flavoursome. The seasonal vegetables consisted of carrots, red cabbage and two small pieces of brocolli.She added that she had to add salt to her meal which is something she rarely does to bring out the full flavours. At £14-90 we thought the meal was reasonably priced.
From the Dessert Board:
Homemade Tiramisu – both of the desserts were served in a small glass bowl.
I was disappointed with the home made Tiramisu. A traditional Tiramisu should be made of lady’s fingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa. This home- made version appeared to have had the addition of a copious amount of whipped cream combined with the mascarpone in order to make it lighter, thick and foamy. There was a small Amaretto biscuit on top to decorate. I much prefer the firm biscuit base showing the traditional layers of this classic Italian dessert but nevertheless it was a pleasant treat to finish the meal.
Homemade Eton Mess – my wife chose the Eton Mess, a traditional English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries, pieces of meringue and whipped cream. She commented that although it was nothing special she had enjoyed it.
Two pints of Fuller`s London Pride – London Pride is a wonderful premium ale which is very easy to drink. I like it because it is not too strong and has a satisfying finish. It has a good malty base with an excellent blend of hop character, resulting in an easy-drinking beer with great body and a fruity, satisfying finish.
Two glasses of Shiraz
The fruity red shiraz had the characteristic berry, plum and pepper of a lighter shiraz wine. My wife felt the rich fruity flavours and heavy tannins of the shiraz complimented the flavour of the beef perfectly.
My wife and I really enjoyed our evening visit at The George and are already planning to visit again in the Spring or Summer for a meal and drinks out in the garden. We would also like to take the opportunity to explore more of this picturesque Northamptonshire village and its many historic old houses.
The George, Kilsby, Rugby, Warwickshire.
Value for money: Good
Service: Welcoming, professional but unobtrusive
Parking: There is a car park to the left side of the building and across the road at the front
Total Cost: £58 including two meals, two desserts plus four drinks.
The George, Watling Street, Kilsby, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 8YE
T: 01788 822 229
Sunday: Traditional Roast – until 3.00pm
Wednesday: Steak and Wine Night – a free 250ml glass of house wine with every steak
Thursday: Burger Night
Sunday: Quiz Night – every Sunday 8.00pm
Sunday: Traditional Jazz Lunch – first Sunday of every month!
Friday: Open Mic/Acoustic Night – first Friday every month
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