The Dapper Spaniel pub located just outside of Newark, is ideally located for a meal or stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Further to this, they pride themselves on using seasonal, local produce and crafting these to suit their diners. The Owners Karl Tyler and Kat Galvin are passionate about creating a high-quality gastro pub experience for their guests with a big emphasis on being dog friendly. Their logo is based on their springer spaniel Archie and inspired them to create a venue that serves fantastic food whilst also being dog friendly. Dogs are warmly welcomed and can even enjoy a dog friendly drink in their bar area with “pawsecco” and “bottom sniffer beer” also on offer. The location of the pub makes it a great place to dine or stay for those wanting to visit the Southwell races or Newark.
The Main menu:
I will start the first main part of this review by looking at what their main menu had to offer and how this did in terms of taste and quality. The pub offers a spacious open plan dining area separate from the bar area with spot lighting on the ceiling and comfortable high back chairs. A feature patterned wall which ties in the chosen decor colour of greys whilst still appearing bright and modern makes the area appealing whilst appearing fresh and clean at the same time. There is a good-sized bar area which has ample seating areas for people to eat whilst this is also accommodating of dogs. Upon arriving for dinner, we were warmly greeted and shown to our table where we were asked if we would like some water for the table, which was promptly served. As our table was already booked, they had already ensured a high chair was ready for us for our little boy.
The menu consisted of a selection of classic and modern nibbles and starters such as soup of the day, fish cake, baked camembert, crispy chicken wings and garlic pizza bread to name a few. Following this they offered a varied selection of main meals such as crispy fried chicken, mac and cheese, haddock and chips, pie, sausage and mash. Pizzas and burgers also accompanied these options and rolls and baguettes are also an option for lunch. To start with we went for the bang bang cauliflower with sesame, honey and buffalo sauce at £5 from the nibbles menu and a Thai spiced haddock fishcake with garlic aioli, coriander and salad at £6 from the starters menu.
The cauliflower still had a slight bite, was slightly charred which added a bit of texture. The heat from the spices was warming and comes through really well without being too overpowering. However, this wouldn’t be a dish for those that didn’t like spicy food. Honey contrasts the heat with some sweetness. The Thai fishcake contained good sized chunks of haddock with a smoky taste. The potato binds the fishcake together whilst also being light in texture, although it could have held together more. The fishcake itself was delicately spiced which was nice as this didn’t overpower the flavours of the fish. The sweetness of the pepper balanced the flavours of the fish while the onion cut through the fish and coriander adding freshness.
For our mains we went for the beef and red wine shortcrust pie with triple cooked chips (or mash) seasoned vegetables and red wine jus at £12 and the crispy fried chicken burger with pickles, tomato, smoky chipotle mayo and an onion ring served in a brioche bun with skinny fries at £11.50. The pie consisted of a light and crumbly shortcrust pastry which made the perfect casing for the rich and well-sized chunks of tender beef inside. The red wine really bought out the flavours of the meat with the mushrooms developing the flavours further. The chips were golden and slightly crisp and fluffy on the inside with a slight sweet taste to them. The tender stem broccoli was slightly charred which intensified the flavours well whilst also adding a crunch to the textures of this dish. The chicken was moist and succulent and the coating was golden and crisp. There was a depth of heat from the chipotle sauce. The brioche bun was fresh and sweet. For dessert, we shared their homemade sticky toffee pudding with caramel sauce and ice cream at £5.50. The pudding was moist and sweet and incredibly moreish. The caramel sauce was rich and salty.
The room was a good size, with an ensuite which comprised of a shower, toilet and sink and had complimentary toiletries and towels. The room had a space to hang clothes, drawers for any other items or clothes, a TV, bottled still and sparkling water and tea and coffee making facilities. The room’s décor is in keeping with the bar and restaurant decor. Our room was grey with splashes of pale pink added. The room was modern and light and rather spacious (we bought a travel cot with us and still had ample spare room). The bottles of water (still and sparkling) add a lovely touch as does the hot drink making equipment. There are lamps on each side of the bed that are touch sensitive and each lamp has three levels of brightness which is perfect to get the right amount of light required. The bed was large and comfortable. The following morning, we went down to the bar area for breakfast (which is included in the price of the room). They offer a range of breakfast items that you can choose from in the morning. For breakfast, there is a choice of drinks with both apple and orange juice on offer. You can choose to have your breakfast between 8:30am and 10:30am. We both went for the full English breakfast which consisted of a sausage, 1 x bacon, 1 x hash brown, a fried egg, bbq beans, a slice of toast, a mushroom and a tomato. The breakfast was well presented and although it was on the small side, it was all of great quality and actually enough for the start of the day. The sausage was packed full of flavour. The pot of bbq beans added something different and were sweet and flavourful with the kidney beans adding to the textures. This complimented the smokiness of the streaky bacon. The hash brown was golden and crisp and the fried egg had crispy edges with a silky, runny yolk. Following our breakfast, they asked us if we’d like to keep the room on longer as they didn’t have anyone arriving later that day which was a nice gesture.
The Sunday Lunch Menu:
We arrived for Sunday lunch at 1PM and again we were warmly greeted and the service was friendly and attentive throughout. Our drink orders were taken quickly and arrived shortly after. To start with we shared the black pudding Scotch egg with celeriac remoulade and apple at £6.75. The dish was fairly large for a starter and was rich and salty with a brilliant crunch to the outside. The black pepper added to the flavours with the yolk of the egg on the inside being a deep orange and just set. The celeriac added an earthiness whilst the apple balanced this with sweetness.
For the main course, we both opted for the roasted beef although they also offered the option of leg of lamb or chicken supreme. The beef Sunday roast consisted of slices of roasted beef topside, duck fat roasted potatoes, mash, greens, pan jus and a Yorkshire Pudding at £12.50. First, I’ll talk about my favourite part of the roast and always an integral part, the meat. The slices of beef were served pink and incredibly juicy and tender and full of flavour which was enhanced by the meaty gravy which gave a real depth of flavour to everything on the plate. The roast potatoes were fluffy on the inside and the duck fat had given them an indulgent richness. The Yorkshire pudding was golden and crisp. Onions in thyme worked well to add more flavour to the natural sweetness of the onions whilst creamed cabbage was another stand out item being rich and buttery and really lifting the natural flavours of the cabbage whilst providing a unique twist. Buttery and smooth mash, peas and charred tender stem broccoli rounded off what was a pretty good roast dinner and one I’d definitely go back there for again. For dessert we shared a warm cherry and chocolate brownie which was served with vanilla ice cream at £5.50. The brownie was rich and sweet with a chewy and gooey consistency with the cherry adding some sourness.
My stay at the Dapper Spaniel and food mentioned in this review was provided free of charge in return for an honest review. This does not compromise the writing of the review and I aim to write all reviews both accurately and honestly whether they are paid for or free. I hope this review gives you a good idea of the venue and of the food that is on offer.
Location: The Dapper Spaniel, Staythorpe Road, Rolleston, Newark, Nottingham, NG23 5SG.
Opening hours: Monday – closed, Tuesday 5PM till 11PM, Wednesday to Saturday – 12PM till 11PM and Sunday 12PM till 8:30PM.
Phone number: 01636 918380