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The George and Dragon Inn fires up the appetite

There’s nothing we like more than an old pub revitalised, and this charming one has had the full treatment and now has the makings of a gorgeous destination pub.

LOCATION

Located in the tiny village of Seaton, the new-look The George and Dragon Inn is located on the main road that runs through the quaint village. Open less than a year, the pub is housed in a charming old building dating back to 1872. Inside it’s quite small but what it may lack in space, is made up for in food offering and top-notch service.

VIBE

Not wanting to take away the beauty of the building but knowing it needed a good spruce up, owner Ralph Offer stripped everything out, exposed the original brick work and updated the slightly kitsch decor of the previous pub, to create a stylish and modern one which the locals love.

I loved the look of the copper pendant lights mixed in with older wooden pews and chocolate brown arm chairs reinforcing the whole old meets new theme.

The main restaurant is quite intimate seating up to 25 people meanwhile, the snug bar area is a good place to perch for a drink or two. There are also a few tables here which is where I parked myself when I visited.

SCOFF/QUAFF

Now for the good stuff! The food offering is definitely more sophisticated than your average pub and this is obvious in the pricing too. The menu is simple; for lunch there were four starters and six mains so picking just one dish, was that little bit easier.

Ralph tells me that the chef, Olivia Palazzo previously worked at the Ivy in London and Fox and Hounds in Exton so I knew I was in for a treat.

I picked the rainbow beetroot for starters and it arrived looking as pretty as a picture. Nice juicy slices of beetroot resting on a bed of blueberry puree scattered with crunchy hazelnuts for texture, crumbles of goats cheese all served with a light orange dressing.

For mains the six offerings on the menu included veal, pork loin, beef, cod and duck leg and a vegetarian option. I would have liked to see a salad option on the menu – that was definitely something I thought was missing.

I plumped up for the wild mushroom pappardelle pasta – two of my favourite combinations and when it arrived I couldn’t wait to tuck in. The creamy sauce was a little ‘too’ creamy for me but the overall taste and flavour was spot on and I happily made my way through it.

Ralph is keen on keeping things as local as possible and has gone big on quality and provenance. He sources veal from Launde Farm but heads further afield for his beef in Coventry (the same place that supplies Rochdale and Hambelton Hall). He thinks they do the finest cuts and this does reflect in the price, just so you know.

I didn’t have room for dessert but, if I did I would have picked the Bourbon Cappuccino. I’ll just have to return again to check it out.

Since visiting, Ralph has opened up the garden which is a great spot for sun worshippers. It’s worth mentioning they also have three rooms upstairs so if you’re here for a special event, you can push the boat out and order another bottle of red, safe in the knowledge that you’ve only have to stagger up a few stairs to rest your weary head.

THE MUDDY VERDICT

Good for: Couples, families who are happy to pay a little more for the quality and over all experience. The food looks good and tastes just as good so for a special occasion, why not!?

Not for: Those on a tight budget and it’s probably best if you leave the kids at home as it’s not the kind of place you’d bring young children although I’m sure they’re welcome but I didn’t see any high chairs and to be honest, there’s not a lot of space for them.

£££: Starters for lunch from £7-8.50 or £15 for the Camembert for two; mains £14.50 – £26 for the Aubrey Allen 28-day aged Sirloin of beef. Side orders £2.50; puddings £5- £7.

The George and Dragon Inn, 2 Main St, Seaton, Oakham LE15 9HU

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Leics & Rutland