Carving up a great value meal deal

De Rodes Arms, Barlborough  (w120228-5)
De Rodes Arms, Barlborough (w120228-5)

I’ve often driven past the De Rodes Arms at Barlborough and thought how nice it looked from the outside.

So I was pleased to finally get the chance to stop off and have a meal there.

I hadn’t realised its focus is on carvery and that, if you’re not a big fan of a traditional ‘Sunday dinner’, then your choice is a bit limited.

It was a Saturday lunchtime and I didn’t fancy a big meal so I went for one of the four vegetarian options, the butternut squash with mushroom and mascarpone (£5.65).

My older son chose the tomato and mascarpone bake (£4.65) and the younger two chose the kids’ carvery meal (£3.49). This price doesn’t include a drink and is only available to under 10s, which seemed a young cut-off age to me.

There were two choices, sausages or chicken bites, and they chose one each.

As with many restaraurant chains - the De Rodes is part of Crown Carveries - it’s a case of choosing a table, selecting from the menu and then ordering from the bar with your table number.

When I ordered two vegetarian meals I was warned there would be a wait, but it turned out not to be too long before we were being called to the ‘deck’ to pick up our meals.

There was a long queue of people waiting for their carveries, which we were told we would have to join, even though none of us had chosen carved meat.

When I queried this I was told we could squeeze through to select our veg.

There was an excellent selection of veg including roast and mashed potato, cauliflower, peas, carrots, onions and leeks. There were also Yorkshire puddings, two gravies and various sauces.

Our meals were good, apart from a portion of my butternut squash being so hard I couldn’t cut it.

The children still had room for pudding and chose chocolate fudge cake (£2.49), banoffee pie (£3.55) and a chocolate brownie (£2.95).

These were all polished off in record time.

If you do go for the carvery you get a choice of three meats - beef, gammon and turkey - from Monday to Saturday for the great value price of £3.89, and four meats on a Sunday, the extra one being pork, for £6.99. Being able to help yourself to veg meant there were lots of plates piled high.

There is a choice of cooked breakfasts served from 9am to 11am for anyone feeling peckish early on in the day.

The pub has a nice setting and is large so, even though it was busy, it didn’t seem overcrowded. There was piped music and colouring packs for children.

If carvery is your thing and you don’t mind queueing for it, this is the place for you.

By Helen Johnston

Three stars