English Market Selection

Where to Buy & Smoke Back

The Chequers

The Chequers
Church Road
Chipping Norton

Situated some six miles west of Grantham, within striking distance of Belvoir Castle and the Grantham Canal, this homely seventeenth-century village pub makes an impact with its blackened beams, roaring fires and serious line-up of real ales.

The Chequers also scores heavily in the food stakes: bread is baked each day, herbs are gathered from the pub garden and lamb is from a neighbour's field; there's also local game in season. Elsewhere, fish has to travel up direct from Brixham docks and the pub's larder is also stocked up with additional supplies from Rungis market in Paris. The industrious kitchen produces everything from tomato ketchup for fish and chips to the port sorbet served with plates of local cheeses.

At lunchtime, you can take your pick from sandwiches, salads and other 'light bites' or plump for the great-value set menu. In the evening, it's worth putting on your glad rags for a meal in the smart restaurant. The carte promises modern dishes like smoked mackerel pâté with anchovy couscous, roast rabbit leg stuffed with garlic and apricots, and deep-fried truffled polenta with cherry tomato and Feta cheese, as well as desserts such as chocolate tart with bitter orange sorbet.

The Chequers has its own cricket pitch where Sunday matches are played throughout the summer (weather permitting), while lovers of Gallic pursuits might prefer to try their luck with a game of p tanque in the garden.

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