Charnia Kitchen, Quorn

CHARNIA KITCHEN: It’s such a relief to get out and about and see people again. Who knows how long it will last with new variants and the like. But in the meantime I am definitely enjoying visiting new restaurants, seeing old friends and getting Bam Bam social. Yesterday we popped out to Charnia Kitchen in Quorn with my lovely friend Bridget. Ladies what lunch were back on the game.

This is one of the places I’d heard about during lockdown and was looking forward to trying. They’ve actually nearly been open for 2 years now, unbelievably. It’s quite a fun combination of quirky cafe and restaurant. It is a refreshingly off-the-wall arrangement of idiosyncratic decoration that is not only fun to look at and kid-friendly (much of it is upcycled toys), but it also provides a welcome relief from Edison bulbs and fake plants indoors.

Charnia Kitchen’s Menu

We kicked things off with a delicious bottle of Garganega. The grape behind Soave, this was a simple and refreshing wine. Perfect in the heat of an early June day. As well as soft citrus flavours there was a pleasant note of honeysuckle. I really enjoyed this easy drinking wine. We opted to order from the lunch menu, which is an undeniable, solid bargain at £12 for two courses. As they have only recently opened up again through lockdown I am hopeful that this set menu will be updated soon. It felt like the choices were a little wintery for the fine day we were enjoying when we were visiting. But it doesn’t really matter because (spoiler alert) everything was delicious.

I started with the prawn cocktail and Bridget the tomato and mozzarella salad. We were commenting on how retro these options sounded, but when they were presented it was a delight to see they were contemporary and fresh. My prawns were plump and sweet, complemented beautifully with the Marie Rose sauce and a dollop of caviar. Bam Bam dug in with gusto. And just look at that presentation! Gorgeous. I love a snazzy starter.

It’s the little things

We also enjoyed some temptingly warm rolls with our starter. I adored the little glass cloche that the butter was served in. It’s these little touches that made the difference for me. And that definitely extends to service too which was wonderfully warm, attentive and exquisitely dedicated. Bam Bam was treated to her own chair, then her own fork. When she threw that on the floor she got a replacement teaspoon, then a replacement one of those in due course. I honestly felt like the team could not have made us feel more special.

afternoon tea at Charnia Kitchen

There were quite a few inter-generational groups visiting as it’s half term. It’s nice to see people feel so welcome to bring along their children. When we were chilling in the garden after dinner there was also a fab group of ladies enjoying the most beautiful afternoon tea. Charnia Kitchen offers a breakfast menu too, which is already very popular by all accounts.

Eating meat in Quorn

On to our mains and we enjoyed soft, barely cooked lambs liver with sweet onions and a creamy mash. There was also a deep bowl of mushroom fricassee, spiked with brandy. This was so generously sauced that Bridget needed a little extra bread at the end to mop up all the deliciousness.

I loved it. I want to try everything on the menu. It would be fantastic to visit for every meal of the day. It’s comfortable and fun, and the team are professional but incredibly welcoming and friendly. Plus the menu is really good value considering the lovely quality and gorgeous presentation of everything on it. Every dish we enjoyed was perfectly cooked and plated with absolute precision. HIghly recommend.

Charnia Kitchen did not know I was visiting or that I would write up my visit and we paid in full for our meal.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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