The Joiners Arms, Quarndon

Last Thursday evening, I visited The Joiners Arms with some of the girls from work for a bite to eat. I was given the task of deciding where to go and wanting to please everyone’s tastes, I thought it would be perfect for giving a good range of dishes for everyone to choose from

The Joiners Arms is the sister pub to The Bulls Head in Repton and as this is somewhere I have visited on many occasions, I had high hopes…

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It has been extensively renovated and is a million miles away from the grotty old pub it used to be. The feel of the place is very much like The Bulls Head – mis-matched furniture & exposed brick – and is really welcoming. It’s certainly a lot brighter too!

 We arrived at 5:45pm without a reservation and luckily there was a table free in the restaurant for us. There are also tables for ‘walk ins’ in the bar area but if you want to guarantee being in the restaurant you definitely need to book… This became evident within about 15 minutes after I took these pictures as the place filled up rapidly, and plenty of people were still arriving at 8:30pm when we left

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We were looked after by the fantastic Eve who was a pleasure all evening, and always made sure that we had everything we needed, even when the place was packed and she was running all over the place!

I fancied something refreshing to drink as it was a scorching hot evening so I opted for a Burleighs signature London gin with Fever Tree tonic – as you can see below, the glass was garnished with lavender which was nice and fragrant but you did end up getting it in your mouth so a straw was definitely required!

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For my starter I chose three of the small yakitori sticks – fig & goats cheese with a maple glaze, cod goujon with mushy peas & tartare sauce and the panko crusted tiger prawns with a mango, chilli & coriander salsa. These were all gorgeous! You can have as few or as many of these as you like as they’re priced individually which is a great idea, you could even have several to make up a main if you wanted to try them all!

The fresh fig on the left was warm and gooey with just the right amount of goats cheese so as not to overpower it, and a sweet drizzle of maple

The cod goujon in the middle was perfectly cooked and flaky on the inside and was encased in a light crispy batter. The mushy peas were well seasoned and the tartare sauce had a great tang to it

Lastly on the right were three plump juicy prawns in a crunchy panko crumb. The salsa was fresh and spicy, but I would have liked more of it so there was enough to have with each prawn

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I also went for a yakitori stick for my main course, but this time it was a little larger – the BIG yakitori chicken stick!

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Ridiculously juicy marinated chicken was skewered with chunky peppers and onions and then flame grilled to give it a lovely charred flavour. You got so much on this giant skewer it really was good value

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The skewer was served with cajun chips, grilled corn & chilli mayo. The sides were a little lacklustre – the chips could have been slightly more golden and tossed in the cajun seasoning so it coated all the chips rather than having it sprinkled on top, and the corn needed a tiny bit less cooking so it was crunchier. Overall though it was a pleasant main course

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I can’t write a post without mentioning their pizzas – as I’d hoped, The Joiners also have their own wood fired pizza oven, in which they make the HUGEST pizzas…

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My friend went for the Milan which has proscuttio, mozzarella, brie, rocket and a balsamic glaze – she was gutted that she couldn’t quite finish it as it was delicious but luckily the staff are happy to provide you with a pizza box so you can take with you anything you can’t eat!

The child in me couldn’t resist the ice cream scrolls for dessert – you can also go and watch them being made!

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The idea is you choose an ice cream base of either chocolate or vanilla (I went for vanilla), then choose a flavouring – as I couldn’t decide on just one I had the sour cherry and added the apple & cinnamon for an extra 50p. I then went for a topping of honeycomb – again you can add extra toppings for 50p each. This was all served in a waffle basket with fresh cream, chocolate sticks and a wafer – they don’t do things by halves!

It was a really tasty dessert, the sour cherry and apple & cinnamon flavourings were in the form of chunky sauce/jam and packed a punch, and the crunchy honeycomb gave a nice contrast. Small touches like the Joiners Arms logo wafer showed that they are making an effort with attention to detail

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We had a really fun, relaxed evening and I can’t wait to go back, especially as it gets colder – just picture being all cozied up, enjoying a long Sunday lunch in front of the log fire….

It also looks as if they are having a Bulls Head-esque marquee extension that looks very inviting – obviously a sign that The Joiners Arms is one very popular place!

The company in charge of The Joiners Arms & The Bulls head have a third pub, The Swan at Walton which I’m sure we’ll get round to trying at some point too!

Visit their website here

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