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On Wednesday I was invited to visit the Village Hotel in Beeston/Chilwell to check out the Victory Pub & Kitchen and their new revamped menu. Even though I live in Beeston (for just over a year now!) I haven’t explored the Chilwell end too much and was only vaguely aware of the hotel.

We arrived and were shown around by lovely head chef Alistair – and what a huge maze it is inside! With not one but three restaurants, a Starbucks, a massive fitness suite with exercise studios, a spa (!), a lovely huge swimming pool and then of course, the hotel bit!

I invited by lovely Beeston friend Emma to come along to try the food with me, and we were delighted to find that our new friend Erin was also attending! The wonderful staff at the Village hotel, Sarah, Carla and head chef Alistair, made us feel very welcome with their hospitality.

The decor is new traditional with lots of these lovely retro style posters – I felt right at home!

Okay, lets talk about the food! I will be honest and say that my expectations weren’t particularly high re ‘pub’ food. I’d also checked out their menu online and it seemed to be pretty standard fare at good value prices, so I didn’t expect that the quality of the food would be great. We tried a selection of starters and snacks from their menu, including the mahoosive onion rings shown below,

Leek and potato soup

Bombardier Fish & Chips – the fish is covered in a beer batter using Bombardier real ale – very tasty! I don’t know if you can see in the picture because of the lighting but the fish was about a foot long and was served with homemade tarter sauce and minty crushed peas.

Flatbread (aka pizza!) – with a very thin crust. These would be great to share with some glasses of wine and a friend.

The classic Victory burger – TWO beef burgers with cured bacon and swiss cheese. This burger looked so amazing that it almost made me want to consider my non meat-eating policy – almost! You can see their full range of burgers, which are amazing – here – sadly they don’t do a veggie burger which is a shame.

Dessert time! We tried the toffee and black forest sundaes which were absolutely huge (perfect for sharing again) and choc full of yummy stuff including liquer cherries, chocolate brownies and fruity sauce.

So what did I think of the food? I was actually really impressed by it. Lots of pubs go for a theme of British classics, but the difference is that everything is homemade at the Victory – from the onion rings, to the buns for the burgers to the burgers themselves – everything is from scratch. I found that incredibly impressive given that many similarly priced pub chains rely mainly on the microwave and freezer to prepare their food.

Even though its part of a hotel, I was also surprised by how much like a normal local pub the Victory felt, with lots of people coming for their dinner, a pint of real ale or a glass of wine with friends.

I really enjoyed the food (in fact I haven’t been able to eat any actual meals in the subsequent two days since my visit!!) and would definitely go back – potentially for Bingo & Baskets night! Although you need a big appetite for most of the meals, they do also do smaller stuff such as the soups and sandwiches, and will soon be introducing a lighter menu for summer.

Thanks again to the staff at the Village – we had a fun evening which proved to be very illuminating for me on the subject of cat flaps, of all things, and I had a great time.

x Kerry

PS – Just so you know, I received free food and drinks as part of this event, but that wasn’t on the condition that I post about the Victory, and certainly not that I say nice things about it. As always, these are my honest opinions.