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The Pear Tree Inn

This lively restaurant in the posh village of Woodhouse Eaves had a complete facelift and re-hauled its entire menu last year. We finally made it down to see if it still has Muddy's seal of approval.

LOWDOWN

Since the last time I visited The Pear Tree Inn, a lot has happened. There’s been a slight tweak in the name, a full remodel and rebrand and a completely new menu. Suffice to say, you wouldn’t recognise it.

Situated slap bang in the middle of the affluent and much sought after Charnwood village, Woodhouse Eaves on the outskirts of Loughborough, what was once Gino’s Pear Tree, is now The Pear Tree Inn but with the same friendly, buzzing atmosphere.

Regulars will know that the restaurant’s run by brothers Gianni, Marco and Riccardo Albiniano who wanted to revitalise and evolve an already, very successful business.

VIBE

Locals will remember the rustic, Italian decor, red walls and Italian paraphernalia but fast forward to 2019 and the place is now a beautifully designed restaurant created by the rather fabulous local design agency, Checkland Kindleysides – it’s enough of a reason to check it out again.

Inside the blue walls, copper pendants and beautiful feature walls make the entire ‘dining out’ experience even more exciting and bring this place nicely up to date and for a split second you may forget you’re in a village local and think  you’re in a trendy city haunt.

Special features include the snug – a cosy…well snug of an area with dark caramel upholstered sofas and industrial lighting – it’s a nice area for dinner too if you want something intimate. I managed to get a peek at the upstairs private dining room; a plush room with rich dark blue walls and a hidden bar behind a bookcase – very James Bond-esque.

SCOFF/QUAFF

We were eating from the new spring menu and I assumed they’d still be serving a predominantly Italian menu but this wasn’t the case.

In comparison to their old menu, this one is very paired down with only six starters and mains – fine by me as I spent less time deciding which dish to pick. They’ve still got a good selection of pizzas (Mr Muddy will be pleased) but have introduced a delicious weekend breakfast menu and a monthly party menu.

I picked the maple roasted butternut squash, with whipped goats cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds for starters and my dining partner went for the Buffalo mozzarella, tomato pesto, rocket and hazelnut pesto, heritage tomatoes. I bagged a winner with my dish which gave my friend serious food envy.

For mains I picked the cod loin and she, being a veggie, decided to go with the truffle and horse chestnut mushroom gnocchi (the only veggie main on the menu) which came with sun blushed tomato, spinach and white wine cream.

Hers, she said definitely packed a punch when it came to flavour and my cod was beautifully cooked and the broad beans gave it some texture and depth. The dish was light enough for me to help my friend with her plate of gnocchi – after all, it’s not that often you see indulgent ingredients like truffle on a menu.

With not much room left for dessert, we somehow managed to work our way through a delicious warm chocolate brownie served with vanilla ice cream scattered with a few strawberries and raspberries – always a winning combo!

The Muddy Verdict:
Good for: Out-of-towners who don’t want to venture into the city. Great for date night or even if you just want to go for a few drinks – their bar area is small but heaving. If you can’t manage to get a baby sitter, you’ll be pleased to know that they also have a kids menu but it can get a bit crowded and noisy in the evening, so perhaps lunch would be better if you’re thinking of taking the mudlets. The private dining room is perfect for larger groups and special occasions. This lively restaurant really is a hidden gem and the friendly service lifts it into gotta-visit territory.
Not for: Those looking for something quiet and intimate. It’s always busy which is a testament to it’s good service and quality of food.
Damage: City prices because of the posh area – starters from £6.50, mains start from £14.95 going up to £28.95 for the fillet. Desserts are all £6.50. Kids menu is £5.50 for a main (pizza, chicken goujons or pasta) and extra for their dessert. The party menu (this needs to be arranged in advance) includes an evening meal of 3 courses for £27.95 and lunch 2/3 courses for £19.50/£22.50.
The Pear Tree Inn, 8 Church Hill, Woodhouse Eaves, Leicester LE12 8RT

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