County Durham is famed for many a wonderful thing but what the county does exceptionally well in is hearty home cooked meals in cosy quaint country pubs. Everyone loves a drive in to the country and a pub lunch by a roaring fire, right?
The New Board Inn dominates the village of Langley Park from its home atop the steepest hill in the area which affords its visitors a beautiful panoramic view. Once inside, the quaint bar side dining and bright sunny dining room may suggest a fairly standard, run of the mill dining experience but don’t let that fool you.
From the friendly welcoming atmosphere to the extensive and varied menu, the vibe is definitely hearty and heartening. The emphasis is on good quality, well executed pub grub and it does this exceedingly well.
Our French Onion Soup (£3.95) came in it’s own dinky mug for that winter warming feel of wrapping your hands round a hot mug on a cold day. Thick and flavourful, the soup was different to the usual darker onion soup but it was delicious nonetheless. Pretty damn filling for less than £4!
Sampling something a little more exotic, the Chicken Satay (£5.95) looked to be quite a small portion but the chicken was well grilled and the satay sauce was moreish. With a hit of coconut and the required peanuts, we hoovered up the sauce and could have done with more, twice over! A third skewer, we felt, would have rounded this out to a better portion given the price tag.
Now the New Board Inn is well renowned for it’s whopper 48oz steak challenge but as the husband wasn’t wearing stretchy pants, he settled for the more modest 24oz rump (£19.50). A handsome slab of meat grilled to perfection to his medium rare request. Covering most of the plate, the standard steak accompaniments barely fit on too. Flavourful fresh meat that wasn’t too tough was complimented by the chunky hand cut ‘proper chips’. The steak was served without a sauce which I’d have gone for, you can’t beat a good old fashioned peppercorn sauce.
Wanting a hearty winter warmer, I could smell the steak + ale pie (£7.95) as soon as I had walked in the door. The meat was meltingly tender and well soaked up in the boozy liquid. The rich dark gravy was packed with well cooked vegetables and came with an extra side of veg too. The chunky chips were perfect smothered in the ale addled gravy, so much so I wish there had been more! An absolute bargain for £7.95 and I feel it represented good value for money.
As usual, there was no room for dessert but we were thoroughly impressed with the food we had. It’s not gourmet and nor does it try to be. Fine dining is all nice and well but sometimes you just want a hearty pub lunch or some home cooked goodness to end the day. I think this is where pubs like the New Board Inn thrive.
By reputation alone, we paid a visit and were thoroughly impressed. Enough to keep coming back for the well-executed basics.
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