When does a road closure and 10 mile detour suddenly become the best part of your day? When your diversion takes you through the little village of Cottesmore and right by the picturesque Sun Inn and you decide to stop for lunch. Just tucked back off the main road, you could easily miss this place. But keep those eyes peeled and you’ll catch flashes of white washed walls and a thatched roof nestled amongst the stone houses. From the outside, you could be forgiven for thinking this is a ‘small village boozer’ with a few grumpy old men propping up the bar. But step through the door and you will be pleasantly surprised.
At the front in the main bar, there’s a relaxed, intimate setting with log burner, benches and bar stools. To the side of the bar, there’s cosier ‘fine dining’ area with things like napkins and tea lights on tables. Out back, a larger more relaxed dining room with ample space to park up a buggy or the kids to move around in without too much worry. In a pleasant change from the norm (especially for Wilma) we have stumbled upon an old pub with actual baby changing facilities. Because dads never need to change nappies, these were conveniently located in the ladies toilets – but if you’re caught short, as it's a single cubicle toilet, you could probably sneak in and get the business done without too much fuss. Outside is also a choice of three beer gardens to plonk yourselves in. One out front where you can watch village life slowly pass by. Another out back, that has a 3ft tin fish casually hanging in the corner. And the last is an actual grassed play area, home to a football net, climbing frame (with swings, slide and see-saw) and a frickin chicken coop!
Locally sourced produce and ‘home cooked’ dishes are the order of day here, and it really shows. The food looks good, tastes great and are all fairly well priced. On the menu there’s a good spread of staple pub food – steak, fish & chips, burgers, pies, baked camembert and so on. There's also a specials board and each weekday has its own theme too with different offers to keep your eye on – pizza club and pie night look particularly appetising and definitely worth a punt if you have kids that can sit down for longer than 15 minutes and don’t turn into gremlins after 6pm. Under 12’s have their own menu with all the usual options - sausages; burger; fish; or chicken (presumably not the ones from the garden), served up with chips, beans and/or peas. All priced at a rather splendid £5.50.
Being an Everards pub, there’s a range of cask ales along with a pretty large selection of flavoured ciders and extensive wine list as well as a fairly well stocked back bar. And for those ditching the hard stuff, a fantastic choice of low / no alcohol drinks - BrewDog Nanny State (0.5%), San Miguel (0.0%) Old Mout (0.0%) and a Skinny Lager (it has alcohol but only 89cals. Perfect for those trying to lose the dadbod!). For the mini-mees, not a Fruit Shoot insight. It’s cordials galore (well orange, blackcurrant and apple) all served in plastic cups AND paper straws – winner! Or for those kids that want to fancy it up a bit you can splash out on a Frobishers fruit drink.
The kids are of an age now where, unless food is involved, getting them to sit still for more than 5 seconds is like trying to get a dog to moo. And today the energy levels were definitely turned up to 11. So having the outdoor play area and, more importantly, the chickens to keep them occupied was a huge bonus - not just for us but also for the poor bar staff who had palpitations every time the kids pegged it past the kitchen doors. ‘The Sun Inn - Proper food & warm welcome’ is painted on the front of this pub. We may have pushed the limits on the ‘warm welcome’ this time, but then we’ll certainly be back in the winter to chill quietly, in front of the log burner.
Pub Crawl: September 2019
Read More: The Sun Inn