Pascal at The Old Vicarage, Branston

A couple of Sundays ago we had nothing in particular planned but as is quite often the case, we decided last-minute that we wanted to go somewhere for lunch…

 As it was already 11:45am we were doubtful of getting a reservation but as somewhere we’d wanted to try for quite some time, I took a chance and called Pascal at The Old Vicarage – luckily for us they were able to squeeze us in 45 mins later at 12:30!

We were warmly greeted at the door and shown to the lounge area where I ordered a glass of prosecco and the husband had a pint of Poretti (a lager we’d not heard of before) Both were perfect for a warm spring day!

Olives were brought to our table, along with some sweet chilli duck canapés – a little oriental flavoured nibble

We made our meal choices and enjoyed a drink and a chat for a short while before being shown through to our table

There were already a number of tables occupied when we sat down in the bright dining room and it felt inviting and welcoming

For my starter I chose the chorizo & mushroom casserole with brioche and I was very happy that I did! Lightly toasted sweet brioche was topped with the softest chorizo I’ve ever had, generous chunks of mushroom, and was coated in a cream and white wine sauce. The sauce itself had a rich smoky hit of paprika, and although it had a cream base, it was far from heavy. The dish was absolutely divine! I have to admit to putting an extra piece of bread in my bowl to soak up all that delicious sauce!

Onto mains and it had to be the sea bass special, accompanied by a glass of Sauterel that had the freshness of a sauvignon blanc and the sweetness of a riesling

A very generous fillet of sea bass was perfectly cooked with a delicate crispy skin and was served with large juicy prawns, cherry tomatoes, and sundried tomatoes which brought a lovely depth and sweetness to the dish. Sauteed spinach and a light creamy sauce (must have been the day for creamy dishes!) complimented the fish well and the crushed potatoes were nicely seasoned and buttery

Although my dish already included potatoes, I couldn’t resist the roasties that were brought to the table… they were hands down the nicest I’ve had – unbelievably soft and fluffy on the inside and beautifully browned on the outside

Maybe it’s just my aversion to carrot batons that made the veg feel a little school-style, but everything was very fresh and cooked al dente so no complaints there

It wouldn’t be Sunday lunch without dessert and the Malibu creme brûlée with pineapple salsa was calling to me!

The brûlée was wonderfully creamy with with a fine but super crunchy layer of scorched golden sugar on top. Personally I think it could have handled more coconut flavour as it wasn’t coming through that much, but the pineapple salsa was sweet and caramelised, and the biscuit shards were buttery so the dish certainly didn’t lack flavour as a whole

We decided against coffee as it was such a beautiful day and the beer garden was calling us!

Pascal at the Old Vicarage is the kind of place where you feel at home – the staff are SO incredibly friendly and the food is great. It immediately makes me think of big birthday get-togethers and I’d love to come back here with family as I know they’d love it. Add to that their fantastically priced set menus and you’re on to a winner – I just wish we’d not left it this long to visit!

We’ll definitely return and I have my eye on one of their French rustic evenings, or maybe their seafood & lobster evenings…. or both!

Visit their website here

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