Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in Rutland
Hardens guides have spent 30 years compiling reviews of the best Rutland restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 18 restaurants in Rutland and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing Rutland restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured Rutland Restaurants
1. Hambleton Hall British, Modern restaurant in Hambleton
“A perfect country retreat!”. The crunch of gravel on the drive and “beautiful views” set the scene at Tim Hart’s “beautiful” hotel (a fine mansion once owned by the Hoare banking family, and constructed long before Rutland Water which it nowadays overlooks). It offers a “pampering” experience “which makes no compromises to quality” in a very traditional style that’s occasionally thought to be “stiff” but more commonly elicits nothing but rave reviews. Aaron Patterson has overseen the kitchen here since 1992, and his “exceptional classic cuisine” is “beautifully presented with amazing flavours”. It’s not an inexpensive experience, but no-one considers it overpriced: “we rarely feel we can afford it, but it’s always turned out to be a pleasure!” – “a self-indulgent treat that makes one feel good days or even weeks later”.
2. The Olive Branch British, Modern restaurant in Clipsham Main St - LE15
“A great village asset” – Ben Jones & Sean Hope’s “intimate old pub” of two decades’ standing was one of the country’s early wave of rural gastropub, and has – with the help latterly of chef Nick Evans – “maintained high standards” over many years: “it’s the best affordable restaurant for miles around” turning out reasonably priced, locally sourced food, alongside an “interesting and eclectic wine list”; “comfortable, well-appointed accommodation available in a separate house over the road”, too.
3. The Fox and Hounds Hotel British, Traditional restaurant in Exton 19 The Green - LE15
This “very smart and much-renovated old coaching inn” sits on the village green of one of the settlements bordering Rutland Water, and serves “high quality” fare in a cosy traditional setting.
4. The Blue Bell British, Modern restaurant in Glinton 10 High Street - PE6
Will and Kelly Frankgate took over this village gastropub in 2013, and have since added a timber-framed garden room extension, which is one of the best of the numerous areas for dining and leads onto its outside dining area for the summer. Rated on more limited feedback last year.
5. The Kings Arms Inn British, Modern restaurant in Wing 13 Top Street - LE15
2018 Review: “A lovely original pub that serves everything but ordinary pub food” – this traditional Rutland hostelry offers “first class dishes served by pleasant staff in a nicely renovated but homely building”. There’s a “passion for provenance” and options include in-house charcuterie from Jimmy’s Rutland Smokehouse, which is onsite.
6. Hitchen's Barn British, Modern restaurant in Oakham 12 Burley Road - LE15
“Neil and Louise Hitchen have now left the lovely Berkeley Arms at Wymondham and opened this town-centre bistro, which slightly lacks the ambience of their pub but in every other respect is superb”. On the menu, “excellent seasonal food including game”, which is “smilingly and delightfully” delivered with “speedy efficiency”. “Massively popular in a short time – deservedly”: “booking is essential”.
7. Finch’s Arms British, Modern restaurant in Hambleton Oakham Rd - LE15
“A good, hearty, meat-rich lunch and a pint by an open fire on a cold November day in the middle of Rutland Water: there are worse places to be…”. This “modernised” and extended old inn – “the original bits are by far the best, with open fires in the bar” – has a “brilliant location” with a big garden (and can become “exceptionally busy in the summer months, at which time service gets stretched”). “There are good set lunches and bar fare, but the cooking can be variable, with the occasional strange mix of ingredients leading to a mild note of caution”. “An out of season bar lunch though can be a very pleasant experience.”
8. The Wheatsheaf British, Modern restaurant in Greetham Stretton Rd - LE15
This “busy neighbourhood pub-restaurant” has “become an institution in the 10+ years it’s been open”, and wins high praise for its “surprisingly extensive menu (in a land-locked area) of wonderfully fresh fish”. “Booking is pretty much essential as the place is usually humming”.
9. Tap & Kitchen British, Modern restaurant in Oundle Station Road - PE8
“Consistently good” modern brasserie cooking “with beers from the adjacent brewery” (by sister company Nene Valley Brewers) makes for an attractive package at this modern wharfside warehouse operation.
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Hambleton British, Modern £110
The Olive Branch
Clipsham British, Modern £47