In Epperstone and looking for a wholesome pub with gourmet dishes to tickle your fancy? The Kitchen at the Cross Keys is the answer with its vast garden for the children to play (plus, there’s a trampoline and a football net), the outdoor tables on the patio, and a quaint interior that tells the quintessential British pub story. An on-trend light minted shade of green covers the interior walls, matching the exterior branding, while an old wood-fired heater warms the room, giving off a sophisticated but homely feel.
Open from midday every day, the kitchen serves both lunch and dinner until 10pm most days. Every Sunday, the Kitchen at the Cross Keys hosts a traditional roast taken up a notch with a few other lunch offerings. Enjoy topside Angus beef with horseradish sauce and served alongside Yorkshire pudding, garden vegetables and roast potatoes, or you may see a crisp pork belly with wholegrain mustard sauce on the menu.
The gastropub’s menu changes seasonally but because of this everything that comes to your plate is sourced sustainably from local farmers, butchers and fishmongers. On your visit, you may find pan-fried pigeon with crispy pancetta, mesclun leaves and a raspberry dressing to start. For mains, you might tuck into the grilled teriyaki salmon fillet with char-grilled pak choi and a mango salsa. There’s also the signature ‘The Kitchen’ bread and butter pudding with butterscotch sauce to indulge in for sweets.
The garden and bar also has a separate menu serving lunch-style items such as French brie and red onion ciabatta sandwich with cranberry or a huntsman pork pie with homemade chutney. The village pub welcomes dogs (with owners, of course) who can run around the garden and gives horses a place to rest in the Pony Parking with a few carrots on hand for them to munch on.