Tuesday 18 August 2020

Four of the best independent restaurants to dine out at in Leicestershire

As far as hobbies go eating out and trying new foods is up there as one of the most enjoyable experiences by far... and I’m almost certain that 99% of you will agree. Whether it be good pub grub, Chinese or Indian I just love it all- the more variety the better I say! 

What with the current world situation as it is, it’s vital more now than ever before that we support restaurants, particularly small independent businesses that really do need our help. So today I wanted to share with you the absolute best of the best when it comes to local restaurants in the Leicestershire area. From one foodie to another, here’s my top four picks, I’ve tried to select four very different eateries so they cater for all of your different tastes...


The Basin: 

If you’re local to the Loughborough area then I’m sure you already know about The Basin  but I just HAD to include because it really is one of the most amazing Chinese/Japanese restaurants going- think Wagamama’s but even tastier. 

I’ve been eating here for years now, and even after countless visits the service and food quality has always been absolutely exceptional. In fact if there’s ever a special occasion in our family such as a birthday we always choose to eat here as we know we’ll recieve 10/10 service. 

The huge menu includes classic Chinese small plates/starters, noodle dishes, rice/curry dishes, sushi, dim sum, and miso. My particular favourite order has to be: sesame prawn toast served with garlic mayo (pictured above), spring rolls and chicken katsu curry. Other mains I also can’t recommend enough: chicken cha han, spicy pork cutlet, chicken yaki soba and beef ho fun in black bean sauce- ALL incredible!!! 

It’s also important to mention that it has one of the nicest atmospheres, particularly in the evening if you’re celebrating as it’s always buzzing and lively. Post lockdown they’ve gone to all measures to make you feel safe, it’s by far the most well organised and sanitised I’ve visited so far. All in all, an absolute must visit, even if it means travelling a little for you! 


The Pug & Greyhound: 

Next up is The Pug & Greyhound which is located in Great Glen, Leicester. I visited for the very first time a couple of weeks back and was thoroughly impressed. It’s classic good pub grub done extremely well, in a cosy village pub setting. 

I ordered both a starter and main accompanied by wine...of course. Olives, balsamic and olive oil and bread to start, followed by sirloin steak, triple cooked chips and peppercorn sauce. It was SO difficult to choose for somebody as indecisive as myself as there’s so many attractive sounding options on the menu. I’ve got to say though I’m so pleased I chose the steak with peppercorn sauce as the sauce was one of the most delicious I’ve tried whilst out- such a beautiful kick whilst still being creamy. 

The Pug & Greyhound also has a good sized garden with an outside bar which also looked amazing if you’re popping by on a sunny day, but if it is typical British weather outside the restaurant and bar seating area inside is very cosy. I can’t wait to visit again and try the tapas next time, it’s definitely one of those pubs you can eat at time and time again without becoming bored. 


Strawberry house interiors: 

Now this one isn’t a restaurant as such as it’s a lovely little interior shop with a small café attached, but the afternoon tea they have on offer is absolutely incredible! Strawberry house interiors  is located in Castle Donington, so only a very short journey away from me. 

Of all of the afternoon tea’s I’ve tried (which I’ll be honest is quite a few) this one is a million miles ahead of them all, even Harvey Nick’s. I can confirm that everything tastes just as good as it looks, the mini savoury tarts (bottom tier), cheesecake slices and cupcakes are SO yum. 

They also offer an afternoon tea style breakfast including croissants, granola pots and fruit which looks amazing, it’s definitely on my list to try. If you’re just popping quickly though I’d recommend the amazing hot chocolate with all of the works. 

I can’t not give the beautiful shop itself a mention, it really is like stepping into girly heaven. Everywhere you turn is a photo opportunity, and the staff are so friendly and welcoming and really make you feel at home and pampered. This is the very place I surprised my Grandma with and she absolutely loved it, I couldn’t recommend enough for a special occasion- you’ll leave feeling like a queen. 


The Moorings: 

If you follow me over on Instagram then I’m sure you’ll already know that I love this place but I wanted to include anyway as it’s my new go to local. The Moorings is located by the river in Barrow Upon Soar, Leicestershire, so the absolute perfect setting for outdoor dining. 

I’ve visited a fair few times now and every single time I’ve been impressed, particularly with the burger slider sharer (you get to choose three different flavour mini burgers, fries/sweet potato fries/patatas bravas and a side). The stonebaked pizza’s are also incredible, I just tried a plain margarita and it still was one of the best pizza’s I’ve ate out. It’s obviously vital I mention that they have a really good cocktail menu too, which most of the day are 2 for 1- even better. 

As you can tell from the photos the outside dining area is perfection, it’s so relaxing looking out onto the river with all of the different canal boats pulling up. The seating area is also beyond comfy, you really could spend all afternoon/evening enjoying the views with a drink in hand! 

The inside dining area is also as lovely, the decor is all so impressive and modern. All in all an amazing experience if you’re looking for some quick casual food in a relaxing setting. 

Phew, and there we have it, menu closed. With all of these restaurants I’d definitely suggest that you book beforehand to avoid disappointment as they’re all pretty popular and can get busy...which of course speaks volumes. I hope that you enjoy, please let me know what you think if you decide to visit any of these amazing places! 

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