Escaping the hum drum on a weekend is what most people live for, and I would be no different. A good drive to nowhere-in-particular combined with a great country pub are the order of the day for the family when it comes to the end of a long week. 

Nottinghamshire is lucky to have some fantastic pubs nestled in the heart of the county, tucked away in picturesque villages. Now a new country pub is on the scene and looks set to become a firm favourite!

The Fox at Kirton is set within the village of the same name, just 7 miles from Sherwood Forest, sitting quaintly under the gaze of Kirton Church. The pub, that once had a great reputation, not only amongst villagers of Kirton and the surrounding areas more than a decade ago, has sadly sat empty and run down for the best part of 8 years but now it’s back; back with new owners who have lovingly rejuvenated The Fox!

The Fox at Kirton | Visit Nottinghamshire

Father and Son team, David and James Carter have restored the pub, undertaking the majority works themselves, clearly using the Covid-19 lockdown to great use. The décor is modern yet doesn’t detract from the charm of a village pub. The grounds of the pub are expansive with a fantastic large beer garden to the rear. This is a great place to watch the world go by in the sunshine with a pint or one of The Fox’s signature cocktails.

The venue re-opened in March 2022, and with head Chef Lukas Jelinek and Second Chef Claire Howett at the helm, the pub serves only the freshest quality food, cooked to order and using locally sourced ingredients. Pub classics are promised, yet they bring their own unique twist.

With this in mind we couldn’t wait to visit and give this new kid on the block a whirl ourselves. With Father’s Day weekend looming, it was the perfect opportunity to sample The Fox’s fayre with the family.

Upon arrival, we were greeted warmly by Gav on the bar and moments later a gin cocktail was being sipped… the jubilee spritz; made using a homemade speciality syrup, gin and peach schnapps - just fabulous! A great start to the evening.

The Fox at Kirton

Seated and with conversation flowing we started to look at the menu options. I think it's a good sign when you have to ask to see the dessert menu first in order to decide whether or not you go for a starter and main or a main and a dessert! Every course had a great selection to choose from and everything sounded delicious.

Looking at the sweet treats, and with old school classics a plenty, all of us decided on a main course followed by a dessert.

Everyone chose something different with braised lamb shanks that simply fell off the bone accompanied by a bubble and squeak mashed potato, beer battered fish and chips and burgers with the works being ordered. In particular, I chose a black and blue burger coupled with homemade caramelised onion marmalade and have to say that the burger was incredible; char-grilled juicy meat, covered in a blue cheese, served in a brioche bun. The food was hearty and beautifully served with outstanding service from Amy, our waitress, serving us.

Our 5 year old can be a fussy eater but wolfed down her homemade fish goujons and chunky chips; that in itself deserves high praise! As time passed and the restaurant started to fill, it was lovely to see such a mix of families and couples, all dressed up for a Saturday evening out. The whole pub was alive with chatter and laughter which made me smile considering that The Fox had lay neglected for so many years.

Soon our long anticipated desserts arrived, with three apple crumbles with whole poached pears gracing the table, plus, the largest knickerbocker glory you ever did see! A classic sticky toffee pudding that oozed an outlandish scent of toffee that wafted through the air was simply divine, as was the lime and elderflower honey cheesecake, which, very impressively, was made with homemade honey no less. All superb!

The Fox at Kirton | Visit Nottinghamshire

From start to finish the evening was marvellous and we, from the oldest to the youngest, couldn’t praise the food, service or setting more highly. Every thought has gone into the refurb of the interior, the creation of the menu, where the ingredients are sourced from and how it is presented. Themed ‘world cuisine’ nights are also planned throughout the coming months from Tapas to Thai, with every taste being catered for. This is a pub indeed with a twist, a modern take on a classic concept, very well done.

It looks like this lady has just found a new favourite country pub!


This blog was written by Anna Scott, Commercial Partnerships Executive at Visit Nottinghamshire.

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