I was recently invited to spend a night and have dinner at The Marquess of Exeter, a pub and hotel nestled in the village of Lyddington, Leicestershire.
Now, I have been pretty picky with the places I blog about recently, but when this invitation came through, I jumped at the chance! The reason for the excitement was that the property is now owned by the Michelin Bib Gourmand Awarded Chef Krishnapal Negi.
Negi, who was previously at 1947 in London, has opened Krishna’s restaurant in the heart of the East Midlands within the pub, which also boasts 17 rooms. The Marquess of Exeter is a beautiful Grade II listed thatched-roof building dating back to the early seventeenth century and Krishna’s serves food inspired by Negi’s upbringing in Uttrakhand.
I loved the food at 1947 and also at Tangawizi in Richmond which I visited many years ago, so how could I refuse the chance to sample his delights now that I have moved back to the East Midlands?
I arrived on a drizzly Thursday evening, just a day after I returned from a short break in Malaga. I was dying to put my feet up after walking around 15k steps the last three days and a crazy day back at my day job. I was allocated room 6 (one of their gorgeous suite’s).
I walked in and was amazed at the country style room which was warm, light and airy. The curtains that opened out on to the main bedroom area added that extra je ne sais quoi. I finished up with some work and immediately took some chill time with a rom-com novel I didn’t quite finish in Spain.
About an hour later when my guest arrived, they were also awestruck by the cosy, simple elegance of the room. Comfy bed, country-style décor that transported you to another part of the country and mirrors which have plug sockets next to them (yes, this is very important) – I couldn’t fault the room at all.
Room prices vary from £85-£155. Did I mention the hotel is dog-friendly?! For an extra £10, you can take your dog, just check with the hotel to find out which rooms are dog-friendly.
Later, we made our way over to the main restaurant area for dinner. It was an easy booking process. I had just booked the table with the exuberant Stefano when I had checked in earlier.
For dinner, we were treated to a mixture of dishes.
Wild mushroom cake (veggie and standout dish) – £7
Chicken 65 – £8
Truffle naan – £4 – and rice (rice on menu so no price)
Chicken dum biryani – £16
Paneer and vegetable curry (this isn’t on the menu, but my guest was a vegetarian, so the chef kindly whipped this up for us).
Baby corn and palak masala – side dish – £6
Pindi chole (chickpeas) – side dish – £5
Argentinan Malbec – £25.50
Lemon tart with fresh fruits and sorbet – £6.95
I could chat for hours about the food, so here are my highlights:
The wild mushroom cake was a revelation! It was like a mushroomy, chickpea, lentil patty, topped with masala, yoghurt, pomegranate, tamarind and sev. A real mix of Indian influences which Krishna is known for.
The chicken 65 was a feast for your tastebuds! The chicken was melt in your mouth tender, spicy (but not crazy hot spicy), tangy and saucy. The spring onion garnish added that little flair.
Truffle naan – wow! I have never tasted any naan like it. I am usually a garlic naan girl, but this was on another planet. The deep aroma married with the earthy taste, adds something extra to the usual curry accompaniment.
Chicken dum biryani – it always looks so spectacular when a dum biryani arrives and the sealed pot is unveiled in front of your eyes, revealing the ingredients steaming in front of your eyes. The rice was perfectly cooked, the chicken again, melt in your mouth tender and the topping of fried onions finished off the dish well.
The portion sizes were pretty generous and pub also serves classics like fish and chips, burgers and salads. The food on the table next to us looked amazing!
The service, let’s talk about the FANTASTIC service from Stefano and Tracey. From the moment we arrived, nothing was too much trouble. Along with some giggles along the way, Stefano went out of his way, not just for me and my guest, but for all the other guests I saw him interact with. Tracey was also a charming host, recommending dishes, being super friendly and making sure our table was never without food or wine! Not once did we feel rushed and were made to feel so welcome at each moment.
We arrived at breakfast around 9:30am, probably after the morning rush and we had a full cooked English breakfast, again served by Stefano, along with a latte, orange juice and croissants. One thing I love about breakfasts, is when there is a deep-coloured egg yolk, you can tell the egg is a good quality one then! One of my fave meals on earth is a piece of buttery, soothing toast and if it is made from quality fresh bread, even better! The breakfast ticked all the boxes.
Overall, I loved staying here and would definitely return again. Whether it is a romantic break, a solo break, a girlie getaway or a family trip with your dog (places like Rutland water, Oakham, Leicester, Kettering, Corby, Nottingham, Derby are not too far at all), there is something for everyone here and gets a huge thumbs up! I will definitely be visiting again!
Website – https://www.marquessexeter.co.uk
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/marquess_exeter/