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A couple of weeks ago we visited The Larder to celebrate Lee’s 30th birthday. It was a thundery rainy Thursday and we walked, damp and hungry, in to the sounds of Stormy Weather by Billie Holiday.

Nottingham in the rain!

The story behind The Larder is quite fascinating (if you love local history!). It was the second Boots The Chemist store (the first one was up the road at 6 Goosegate which is now a Sainsburys) and was revolutionary in that it was the first shop ever to be glass-fronted so that customers could see the products inside.

The building itself is now retail units downstairs, but the character and history of the original Boots store is retained upstairs where The Larder on Goosegate restaurant is located.

We started with some complementary tomato bread and grissini

And I went for deep-fried sprats with lime mayo for my starter – there was a fairly narrow choice of starter’s on the lunch menu, especially when you strip out one’s that contain beef/pig/sheeps, so I went for these although I’ve had trouble eating them before due to squeamishness. I managed to eat a few of them and they were delicious – piping hot and freshly cooked – but their little faces got to me after a while! Lee had ham terrine for his starter, which was obviously homemade and looked great!

Main courses and Lee had a prime rump steak served with chips and salad – his steak looked absolutely fantastic and he reported that it tasted great too. The Larder uses grass-fed, Aberdeen Angus beef that has been reared to strict welfare conditions – it’s always great to see restaurants that source meat that has been raised ethically!

I went for the puy lentil Shepard’s Pie with rosemary gravy. I didn’t have sky-high hopes for this meal, but it was amazing. The flavoursome lentils were topped with cheesy mashed potato and the whole thing was infused with the flavour of rosemary – just delicious – for veggies or non-veggies! I’ll be making this meal soon at home – it will hopefully be relatively easy to recreate!

Because it was Lee’s birthday, he got a free birthday dessert! With a chocolate brownie, some apple tart, a chocolate cupcake and a macaron! He loved all his desserts

I had to go for a dessert too…. I was torn by the great selection on the menu and I went for a warm chocolate brownie with ice cream and caramalised walnuts in syrup. It was lovely – clearly home-baked and very chocolatey and satisfying.

Here I am enjoying my meal – The Larder is open for lunch between 12 and 2.30pm and was quiet when we visited – us and one other couple were there. Despite that, their was still a lovely atmosphere and it felt like we had the place to ourselves and enjoyed taking our time for a relaxing meal which I find it difficult to do in a very busy and noisy restaurant. The service was also brilliant – attentive but unobtrusive.

We had three courses each, plus a bottle of Prosecco and a couple of other drinks, and the bill came to just under £60, which I thought was exceedingly good value for the quality of the food. We will definitely be returning – it’s a thoroughly charming place! And it’s great to see non-chain, local restaurants that focus on turning local, quality ingredients into delicious meals!

If you’re in the Nottingham area – check out more reviews of The Larder here, and check out their most recent menu’s on their website here.

Have you been to The Larder – what did you think?