Monday, 15 September 2014

Sunday lunch at The Olive Branch gastropub, Clipsham, Rutland

My family has been going to The Olive Branch for years. Or, as I like to call it, the Ob.

We don’t go often, maybe once every six months or so, but it’s our fave when we have something to celebrate or simply the family all together.

And so a couple of weekends ago with me finally home from Brussels, Holly back from Exeter and Jamie popping back from London for the weekend, it was the perfect opportunity to go to the Ob for a family Sunday lunch. It was also sort of a joint birthday lunch for Jamie and me (a few weeks late for him, a few early for me.)

Considering we’ve been visiting and loving the Ob for so long, it seems strange that I’ve never blogged about it. So, let’s remedy that now, shall we?

There’s nothing better than a British pub, and a pub lunch on a Sunday is the one.

The Olive Branch, however, is much more than your standard pub. It’s a gastropub, I’ll have you know. Yeah. Snazzy.

I’d been really looking forward to this lunch for ages, so when I realised I wasn’t going to have shifted my tummy bug in time I was not best pleased. Pretty gutted, actually.

Still, not one to miss out on a family outing, I dragged myself off the bathroom floor, put on a pretty dress and decided to go along as official lunch photographer, even if I couldn’t eat much. Taking pictures would at least give me something to do instead of simply drooling over everyone else’s food

Much to my delight (genuinely), Mama decided we should take a Hosie family selfie before leaving. Voilà:

The Oscars selfie has nothing on us, right?

One car journey through the pretty Leicestershire and Rutland countryside later and we had arrived.

It was an uncharacteristically summery September afternoon, and as nice as it would have been to eat outside, we went inside to soak up the charming atmosphere.

Drinks were served by the friendly bar staff – I pushed the boat out with a rather scrumptious cordial, and enviously eyed up the strawberry Champagne cocktail being enjoyed by the Madre. Damn you, illness.

To be fair it was top notch cordial
And then we sat down at our table. The Ob is all ‘rustic country pub’ in style, and I can tell you it’s particularly cosy in the winter with the roaring fires.

The fam perused the menus, I perused the fellow diners.

Orders were placed and we were swiftly brought a little loaf of fresh, warm, seedy bread and the Ob’s signature olive butter.

It turns out Dad had had a little word with the staff and alerted them to the fact that we were having a celebratory meal, so they kindly gave us a little special treatment.

Hello, amuse-bouche (“it is amusing”)! I am reliably told this was delicious.

Then, starters (I haven’t taken a picture of everything but just a few to give you a taste, a flavour, if you will):

These scallops were apparently really good, and doesn't the corn look divine? Mum had a leek and potato soup which I totally would have had too, although she said it was a leeeeettle too peppery for her liking.

Main course time!

Bon appetit to me.
Seriously though, the chips are amazing. And I figured you're meant to eat plain carbs when you have a funny tummy, right?

They're thick, hand-cut, lightly-salted, super fluffy inside and then triple-fried for insane crispness on the outside. Seriously sensational. 

And while I nibbled on chips, the famalam got stuck into their more nutritionally-balanced meals.

A big ole roast for Dad.^

Duck for Mum.^

And duck for the Shrimp too, albeit with her choice of sides (because the Ob staff are very kind and accommodating like that.)^

Jamie obviously had something too. I must've been too busy eating chips to take a picture of his.

Not only were all the dishes super tasty, as per usual, you can always rely on the Ob for fantastic presentation too, and I do think that does really make a difference. 

Everything went down a treat, as always. And then it was on to pudding! (AKA the best part of every meal and the part that was going to kill me most considering I couldn't really eat.)

There I was, wanting to eat everything, unable to eat anything. Woe was me.

But I decided yolo and ordered a mini plain stick toffee pudding without ice cream. Living life on the edge right there.

Before that arrived though, the Ob had another little treat in-store for us...

Cucumber and watermelon sorbet. Now I'll be honest, the sound of that didn't do much for me, but I did try a little bit and I can tell you it was seriously delicious. Sweet, soothing and super refreshing. Just what you need before hitting the stodge again, am I right?

Enter: sticky toffee pudding.

The Shrimp had a normal-sized one, so the above is hers. I've had it before and can tell you it's a real winner. Especially with the creamy vanilla ice cream.

Brother had the berry Bakewell^, which I kid you not, looked and sounded amazing. Apparently it tasted it too (*sob*). Another time, eh?

And just as the coffees were being sipped and we thought the meal was over, the Ob brought out one final surprise for the birthday boy and girl...

A little selection of petits fours each! How nice is that? Were I not ill I probably would've done a "Joey doesn't share food" and been tempted to scoff my whole dish, but it was a team effort. There were insanely fluffy marshmallows, super rich chocolate truffles, ginger biscuits, apple jelly squares, nutty truffles and pistachio biscuits. 

Do you like my pistache? (See what I did there? Eh, eh?)

It was a lovely surprise and even though I couldn't eat much it was really appreciated.

I usually leave the Ob feeling like I need to be rolled home, so it was a new experience for me the other weekend. Although I couldn't enjoy much of the food, I still had a lovely time as it's such a great place and so much fun to be with the whole fam - I feel we all get on and slot together best when we're all five together. You've gotta love families, eh?

And now I have a good excuse to go back to the Ob as soon as I can!

The Olive Branch can be found on Main Street, Clipsham, Rutland, LE15 7SH


  1. I love the Olive Branch! Me and my fam have been going for about 12 years now so it's pretty much a staple for any occasion aha! We're actually going this Wednesday to celebrate my mum's birthday, so I hope they're still serving that yummy looking Bakewell cake.. Plus we've ordered a sneaky birthday cake from them as a surprise! It's so awesome to find a fellow olive branch fan yay! :)x

    1. Oh wow! Hope you had an amazing time for your mum's birthday and glad to hear you're also Ob lovers :) x


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