A singer from The Voice in the garden, impressive decor and a sophisticated ambience but how does The Park Pub & Kitchen Bedford perform in the, er, kitchen?
STOP THE PRESS. I was invited to review the food at a place OUTSIDE of Milton Keynes.
The Park Pub & Kitchen Bedford does have a connection to Milton Keynes though. It’s part of the same family as The Swan Inn Milton Keynes Village.
The Park isn’t in the town centre of Bedford and was found in a quiet, treelined residential area, beyond the town centre. It is easy enough to find and has it’s own carpark.
Just like The Swan in MK, this pub is very well groomed. Candles and cute flower arrangements are found on the tables in the front bar, along with the all important drinks menu.
Extremely friendly bar staff gave a warm welcome as we umm’d over what to drink.
Mr LouBou spotted the Japanese beer, Kirin Ichiban. After a little research it appears to be brewed by Charles Wells in Bedford. Hardly Tokyo but maybe shedding light as to why it appears on the pumps at a pub in Bedford.
On the first page of the drinks menu is this quote, “I never drink water; that is the stuff that rusts pipes”. You’re funny, W.C. Fields – whoever you are!
The cocktail menu contains many of the classics that you would expect to see but new surroundings called for new experiences and I opted for the Secret Garden.
The Secret Garden cocktail contains, lemon vodka, apple brandy, mint, cucumber, sugar syrup and soda, on crushed ice and served with lemon slices and a sprig of fresh mint.
The cocktail was nice and long, perfect for sipping. I usually prefer a sweeter cocktail (I’m famously a big sweet tooth) but if you are a fan of a drink that is fresh and crisp, this drink is for you.
There is many different places to choose from when it comes to seating inside The Park. From the cute tables in the front bar.
There’s then this brilliantly large, light and modern extension (above).
A large, characterful area in the main house of The Park (above). With the most beautiful flagstone floor, fireplaces and a more rustic feel.
Then this is where we chose to sit. The garden. It was a beautiful summers night AND there was some guy who appeared on The Voice 2017 singing and playing guitar outside too. Lawrence Hill. Lovely voice and created the most relaxing atmosphere for us to enjoy our evening.
Mr LouBou and I stuck to the main dinner menu, although the Fish + menu (fish specials) nearly won me over. Any restaurant that makes sure there is an abundance of fishy delights wins with me.
To start I ordered the Grilled Halloumi & Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables with Basil & Parsley Pesto.
Halloumi cheese has to be the most popular cheese to ever grace a restaurant menu. It is so much more than just being the new mushroom dish for vegetarians because whether you favour meat or not, how delicious is halloumi!?
Since eating this dish I spotted that the dinner menu on The Park’s website has been updated and it’s now a chilli infused halloumi. Interesting! A few of the following dishes we also ate have also been given the axe or changed up too.
Mr LouBou ordered the Cod Cheek Scampi with Potato Crisps, Pea Veloute and Tartare Salsa for his starter.
Basically, posh fish nuggets with pea dip and a salsa to accompany it. Would’ve gone well with some ketchup. I have no shame!
There is now a Monkfish Scampi dish as this dish doesn’t feature on the summer menu but it’s a main course and not a starter.
For mains, I ordered the Pan Fried Cornish Hake Fillet, Sage Dauphinoise Potatoes with Atlantic Prawn Bisque.
Look at those layers of buttery potatoes!
Mr LouBou ordered this main dish which featured fillet steak slices on a bed of Puy lentils.
Another hearty dish that didn’t survive the chop in the recent update to the summer menu. Maybe it was too hearty for the heat of the summer. But if you fancy a steak dish that isn’t just steak, there is a Steak, Mushroom & Bombardier Pie on the menu to get your teeth into.
For pud, I ordered the Dark Chocolate Brownie & White Chocolate Ice Cream (below). Rich, chocolatey, goodness. Could have been a bit gooier but I’ll forgive them for the richness against that creamy vanilla ice cream.
Mr LouBou went for the Sticky Toffee Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream. Sweet and sticky but again, it’s since changed to become Sticky Toffee Sundae with Banana Ice Cream, topped with Italian Meringue. I really want to try it!
Cup of tea to finish off the meal. Lawrence, the singer/guitarist started a cover of American Pie (beautiful) and then it was time to say goodnight and to go home and rescue the grandparents from babysitting HP & Squish.
The Park Pub & Kitchen is a lovely destination in Bedford and as dusk started to fall, the place took another dimension and I got the urge to see it in the winter months, when the fireplaces in use and even heartier meals on the menu. I can’t wait to make that a reality.
Date of visit: 26.06.2017
The Park Pub & Kitchen
98 Kimbolton Road, Bedford MK40 2PF
DO YOU FANCY A WINNING A MEAL FOR TWO TO TRY THE PARK PUB & KITCHEN FOR YOURSELF? HEAD ON OVER TO MY FACEBOOK PAGE AND CHECK OUT THE COMPETITION POST (ENDS 28.07.2017) GOOD LUCK!